State

Guns help Kentucky dominate other states in new rankings

Guns are more popular and prevalent in Kentucky than any other state, results that make it one of the six states most dependent on the firearm industry in a new analysis of a significant amount of weapons-related data

According to a new study by personal finance website WalletHub.com, the Bluegrass state is the sixth most gun-dependent in the country. Its study uses an assortment of data on gun industry jobs, dealers and manufacturers; gun ownership and sales; gun control; and gun politics.

The top five states in the study are all in the Northwest — Idaho, Montana, Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Helping Kentucky to its No. 6 ranking is the prevalenceof guns, the study says.

Kentucky took the top spot in what the study called gun prevalence, which took into account ownership; per capita sales; gun ads; and Google searches for guns. Kentucky’s neighbor to the south, Tennessee, was second in this particular ranking.

Kentucky was ranked first in number of background checks for gun purchases per capita. At a minimum, a greater proportion of Kentuckians try to buy guns. Kentucky is 14th among the states for gun ownership rate.

The gun politics ranking for Kentucky, using metrics that include the amount of gun-control and gun-rights contributions to congressional members, was eighth. The aforementioned Northwest states, led by South Dakota, saw its congressional members most dependent on the gun industry.

With Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell leading the U.S. Senate plus other politicians in Congress, Kentucky was ranked seventh among the states for amount of gun-rights contributions to congressional members per capita.

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In comparing states reliance on the firearm industry, the metric that takes into account the amount of each state’s firearm jobs; wages and benefits; dealers; importers; manufacturers; and strictness of gun laws, Kentucky was a modest 20th. Idaho, which had the most firearms industry jobs and tied for most firearms output per capita, led the firearms industry reliance ranking.

States least dependent on the gun industry were primarily Northeastern states — Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware and New York.

Guns contributed more than $51 billion to the U.S. economy and generated more than $6.5 billion in taxes since 2017.

There have been 2,997 deaths by gun violence in 2018, according to gunviolencearchive.org. The website also said there have been more than 11,000 incidents this year involving gun violence, including 48 mass shootings.

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