Report Ranks States Based on their ‘Dependence’ on the Gun Industry

Finance company WalletHub released this week a new report that purports to have ranked all 50 U.S. states based on their “dependence” on the gun industry.

Topping the list are Idaho, Alaska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Arkansas. The states least dependent on the firearms industry, according to the report, are Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.

The report’s title is somewhat misleading. The rankings use 17 metrics related to two categories in addition to the firearms industry: gun prevalence and gun politics. Gun prevalence is weighted equally with the firearms industry to determine a state’s overall score, and gun politics is weighted slightly less.

“Firearms industry” metrics include factors like firearms-industry jobs per 10,000 residents, firearms and ammunition dealers & importers per capita, and firearms and ammunition manufacturers per capita. Under these criteria alone, the top states would be New Hampshire, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, and Arkansas, and the bottom states would be New York, Illinois, California, New Jersey and Hawaii.

SEE ALSO: California Dem Running for President Says Confiscating ‘Assault Weapons’ is a Top Priority

“Gun Prevalence” considers gun ownership rates and gun sales per 1,000 residents (among other factors), and “Gun Politics” takes into account congressional contributions by anti-gun and pro-gun groups.

The report used data from government organizations like the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and advocacy groups like the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Click here to see the full table to find out where you state ranks in each category.

Source: WalletHub

WalletHub’s rankings do not correspond perfectly to the gun-related death rate in each state, but there is some overlap. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, three of the top ten states with the highest gun-related death rates are also in WalletHub’s top ten list. On the other end of the spectrum, seven of the ten states with the lowest gun-related death rates are at the bottom of the WalletHub report.

Major exceptions include Idaho, which ranks 15th on the gun-related deaths list, and South Dakota, which ranks 32nd.

“Gun-related deaths” include suicides, of course, and suicide rates also correspond to a host of factors besides a state’s dependence on the gun industry. A more telling metric might be a state’s homicide rates. According to CDC statistics, only three of the top ten states with the highest homicide mortality rates are also on the top-ten list of states dependent on the gun industry (Alaska, Arkansas, and Tennessee).

On the other end of the spectrum, a low homicide rate does not correspond to a low dependence on the firearms industry. Of the ten states with the lowest homicide rates, only three states also appear at the bottom of WalletHub’s list (Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Hawaii).

What’s more, two of the states most dependent on the firearms industry (Wyoming #4 and North Dakota #6) have some of the lowest homicide rates in the country. On the other end of the spectrum, Maryland has the country’s sixth highest homicide rate but is 42nd in terms of dependence on the firearms industry.

In other words, while anti-gun pundits constantly try to draw connections between the firearms industry and dead Americans, the data suggests otherwise.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • mike April 12, 2019, 5:55 pm

    I find this information hard to believe….They say that Massachusetts is in the bottom 3 ?
    Massachusetts is home of Smith&Wesson, Kahr arms, Savage arms and others.
    Bottom 3….my butt

  • Jake April 12, 2019, 5:35 pm

    Interesting yet of little value. Illinois has as much or more gun manufacturing than almost anywhere, yet because of a large population it is ranked near the bottom. Springfield Armory, Armalite, Rock River Arms, LMT, DSA, Krebs, Rat Worx, Craddock, and that’s just off the top of my head. Plus the Rock Island Arsenal.

  • Big Al April 12, 2019, 10:37 am

    This suggests that ‘WalletHub’ is either very bad at their business, (economics) or are willing participants in spreading propaganda are therefore untrustworthy as a whole.

  • Beryle A. Lane April 12, 2019, 10:06 am

    The democrats are a bunch of idiots to even think they will get in office on a platform of banning guns guns do not kill the sick person with it does. I am a retired police officer and I know that if you ban guns of any type the person that plans to do wrong with a gun will get it off of the black market. I am also a license federal firearms dealer what we need is to stop the private gun collectors from selling their guns to anyone without back ground check . with the nuts in general doing what their doing robbing, rapeing , killing , home invasion, and so on. the only gun control we need is to make it mandatory that all law abiding people carry one. if guns kill then spoons make people fat ,and cars cause people to drive drunk. GOD, GUNS , AND GUTS MADE AMERICA FREE LETS KEEP ALL THREE

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