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America has more guns than people — 120.5 guns for every 100 residents. Guns are big business in the U.S.: One trade association estimates the firearm industry is worth about $71 billion in the U.S. and generates $7.86 billion in taxes.

On the flip side, one estimate of the cost of gun violence includes $557 billion annually in medical costs, loss of work, costs of law enforcement and quality of life costs, which represents the value of the irreparable damage when a victim’s life is cut short or a survivor is permanently disabled by gun violence.

We see that pain and loss too regularly in the news—in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in May, in Highland Park, Ill., where a gunman killed seven people and wounded dozens more at a Fourth of July parade, and in Buffalo, N.Y., where 10 people were shot and killed in a supermarket.

Americans are largely supportive of the new gun bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on June 25, with nearly two-thirds approving, according to a survey by Pew Research. But 78% of the survey respondents think the new gun law will do either little or nothing at all.

Are they right? An analysis of current gun policy research by the Rand Corporation sought to learn which gun policies appear to actually have the desired effect. The analysis found strong evidence that laws that prevent children from accessing guns may have the desired effect of decreasing suicides and unintentional deaths and injuries, and moderate evidence that waiting periods may decrease suicides. But they also found supportive evidence that stand-your-ground laws may increase violent crime.

Is there enough research? For eight of the 18 policies they examined, either there were no studies examining the effects on any of the outcomes or the evidence was inconclusive.

The States That Are Most Dependent on the Gun Industry

To determine the states that are most reliant on the gun industry, personal finance site WalletHub compared the economic impact of guns on each of the 50 states to determine which among them leans most heavily on the gun business, both directly for jobs and political contributions and indirectly through ownership.

They gathered data from sources including the Census Bureau, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, FBI, ATF, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Google Trends and RAND on three key dimensions:

  • Firearms industry, which includes jobs in the industry, number of firearms dealers, manufacturers and gun shows, state gun laws
  • Gun prevalence, which includes the gun ownership rate, gun sales, gun ads,
  • Gun politics, which gives equal weight to both gun control contributions and gun rights contributions to congressional members per capita.

Here are the states most dependent on the gun industry.

8 Boise, Idaho sh
road trip wyoming sh
kentucky louisville sh
sdakota rushmore sh
20 missoula montana sh
12 arkansas sh
34 alaska skagway  Paolo Trovo : Shutterstock.
north dakota ndakota sh
15 Jefferson City missouri sh
6 Oklahoma City iStock
28 nashville tenn f11photo : Shutterstock
24 alabama montgomery sh
18 charleston Scarolina sh
salt lake utah sh
Lincoln nebraska sh
17 charleston WV sh
indianapolis indiana sh
2 lake charles louisiana sh
11 mississippi jackson iSTock
kansas sh
34 portsmouth nh Steve Broer : Shutterstock
47 st paul minn Dan Thornberg : Shutterstock
41 Camden Maine sh
12 Sheboygan Wis sh
16 portland oregon ARTYOORAN : Shutterstock
5 asheville nc J. Bicking : Shutterstock
Cleveland ohio sh
iowa sh
13 san antonio alamo texas sh
6 state college Penn penn state univ sh
vermont sh
18 phoenix arizona iStock
seattle, washington, mt rainier
8 detroit mich sh
florida cape canaveral kennedy space sh
13. Idaho Springs, Colorado sh
16 Vegas evenfh : Shutterstock
6 albuquerque new mexico Raisa Nastukova : Shutterstock
7 chicago sh
delaware, beach
27. Richmond, Virginia sh
16 savannah georgia sh
6 us Stonington Conn Joe Tabacca : Shutterstock
28 boston sh
2 baltimore James Kirkikis : Shutterstock
20 manhattan beach los angeles calif Lucky-photographer : Shutterstock
6 One World Trade Center New York sh
28 honolulu hawaii sh
ocean city nj sh
7 newport RI rhode island sh