Helena Independent Record – “Montana is the state second-most dependent on the gun industry, according to a website that reviewed per-capita data about firearms industry jobs, state gun laws, gun ownership rates and the intersection between politics and guns
The website WalletHub released its report Monday.
According to the data it analyzed, Montana ranked sixth for its gun ownership rate, third for firearms-industry jobs per capita, fourth for firearms-industry output per capita and for total taxes paid by firearms industry per capita.
The state ranks fifth for National Instant Criminal Background Check System checks per capita, first for gun-control contributions to congressional members per capita and 13th for gun-rights contributions to congressional members per capita.
Montana ranks second overall with Idaho at No. 1 and is followed by Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
The study ranked states across three dimensions: the firearms industry, gun prevalence and gun politics.
For the firearms industry, it examined firearms-related jobs per 10,000 residents, the number of firearms and ammunitions deals and importers per capita, the average wages and benefits in the industry, the total industry output per capita and total excise taxes paid by the firearms industry per capita.
A 2017 report from The Billings Gazette that examined statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found that Montana has the most firearms companies per capita. In 2016, the most recent year numbers were available, the state had 153 licensed manufacturers.
It also examined state laws that protect gun manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits, state gun laws around mental health records reporting, private-sale background checks, open-carry and conceal-carry regulations, prohibition of access to guns for domestic violence abusers, laws to disarm dangerous people, child access prevention and waiting periods, as well as the minimum age to purchase different types of firearms.
Most of the legislation introduced in the Montana state Legislature over the last two decades has been about loosening restrictions on concealed-carry permits, increasing the places guns are allowed, opening up the state’s stand-your-ground laws, increasing shooting range funding and enshrining the right to hunt in the state’s Constitution.
In the wake of the recent shooting and killing of 17 at a high school in Parkland, Florida, a state lawmaker has asked for draft legislation to change state law so non-criminal mental health commitments can be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Open-carry is legal in Montana with some exceptions such as in schools, government buildings, places where alcohol is sold. County sheriffs issue conceal-carry permits.
For gun prevalence, the Wallet Hub study looked at the gun ownership rate of a state, gun sales per 1,000 residents, gun ads for private buying and selling and Google search interest for gun sales.
When determining the gun politics ranking, the study looked at gun-control and gun-rights contributions to congressional members and the average NRA score for the state’s senators.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, has an A+ ranking from the NRA and recently said he’d be looking for a different airline after Delta said it would no longer honor discounts for NRA members. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, was given an A- in 2012.”