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Guns Are Big Business Across All 50 States

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Between the recent high-profile mass shootings in California, Texas and Ohio, student walkouts and a fierce political debate between gun-rights groups and gun-control advocates, hardly a week goes by when guns aren’t in the news. But in America, guns are more than just a hot political topic — they’re also very big business and a large employer across all 50 states.

The firearms and ammunition industry employs 149,000 people working for companies that make, distribute and sell guns, ammunition and hunting equipment. An additional 163,000 people work supporting those companies.

Overall the gun industry is responsible for more than 300,000 jobs and more than $15 billion in wages, according to a report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gun retailers, owners, distributors and manufacturers.

In the following slideshow, states are ranked from least to most gun-related jobs. Keep reading to see how the gun industry impacts jobs in your state.

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Washington, D.C.

Total jobs: 16
Total wages: $1,372,600

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Delaware

Total jobs: 293
Total wages: $12,109,000

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Hawaii

Total jobs: 328
Total wages: $13,129,700

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Rhode Island

Total jobs: 514
Total wages: $34,779,200

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Vermont

Total jobs: 717
Total wages: $34,269,500

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North Dakota

Total jobs: 901
Total wages: $33,507,800

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Wyoming

Total jobs: 1,152
Total wages: $43,868,500

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Alaska

Total jobs: 1,155
Total wages: $43,448,200

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

New Mexico

Total jobs: 1,210
Total wages: $35,870,000

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West Virginia

Total jobs: 1,378
Total wages: $44,952,600

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South Dakota

Total jobs: 1,905
Total wages: $79,425,300

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Iowa

Total jobs: 2,143
Total wages: $84,428,800

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Nevada

Total jobs: 2,492
Total wages: $97,161,700

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Maine

Total jobs: 2,493
Total wages: $95,266,200

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Montana

Total jobs: 2,622
Total wages: $96,246,800

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New Jersey

Total jobs: 2,743
Total wages: $185,662,000

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Maryland

Total jobs: 3,484
Total wages: $208,801,600

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Nebraska

Total jobs: 3,768
Total wages: $181,807,400

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Kentucky

Total jobs: 3,779
Total wages: $153,363,600

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Oklahoma

Total jobs: 4,006
Total wages: $154,320,400

DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com

Louisiana

Total jobs: 4,256
Total wages: $165,550,900

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Mississippi

Total jobs: 4,834
Total wages: $202,642,800

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Kansas

Total jobs: 5,015
Total wages: $194,347,400

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Colorado

Total jobs: 5,184
Total wages: $252,655,400

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Wisconsin

Total jobs: 5,187
Total wages: $226,940,300

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Indiana

Total jobs: 5,430
Total wages: $215,861,500

SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com

Virginia

Total jobs: 5,431
Total wages: $254,491,000

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Connecticut

Total jobs: 5,477
Total wages: $413,924,800

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Alabama

Total jobs: 5,870
Total wages: $242,847,400

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South Carolina

Total jobs: 6,064
Total wages: $274,702,600

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Tennessee

Total jobs: 6,125
Total wages: $278,130,000

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Arkansas

Total jobs: 6,455
Total wages: $284,881,900

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New Hampshire

Total jobs: 6,470
Total wages: $429,785,000

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Utah

Total jobs: 6,669
Total wages: $311,160,300

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Washington

Total jobs: 6,833
Total wages: $317,388,100

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Oregon

Total jobs: 7,342
Total wages: $436,112,500

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Idaho

Total jobs: 7,436
Total wages: $319,761,600

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Arizona

Total jobs: 8,043
Total wages: $427,554,300

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Michigan

Total jobs: 8,273
Total wages: $369,093,900

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New York

Total jobs: 8,986
Total wages: $655,168,400

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Massachusetts

Total jobs: 9,288
Total wages: $678,578,000

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Georgia

Total jobs: 9,374
Total wages: $432,502,100

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Missouri

Total jobs: 10,381
Total wages: $425,558,000

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North Carolina

Total jobs: 10,509
Total wages: $469,537,900

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Ohio

Total jobs: 11,981
Total wages: $499,892,800

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Pennsylvania

Total jobs: 12,575
Total wages: $655,308,100

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Minnesota

Total jobs: 12,760
Total wages: $796,863,300

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Illinois

Total jobs: 13,186
Total wages: $803,730,900

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Florida

Total jobs: 15,691
Total wages: $714,196,500

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California

Total jobs: 20,162
Total wages: $1,181,389,500

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Texas

Total jobs: 23,605
Total wages: $1,167,437,600

More on Jobs and Money:

Methodology: All of the data for this article was sourced from the NSSF’s 2019 Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report.