WalletHub has identified Montana as the state with the highest gun ownership rate in the country. The news came as part of a recent study by the financial website: “2022’s States Most Dependent on the Gun Industry.”
“Montana came in first for a few different things here,” WalletHub analyst and attorney Jill Gonzalez told KGVO News. “First of all, just in terms of its gun ownership rate, it’s the highest in the country. So that’s essentially the proportion of households that have a gun, and that is the highest in the country. That means [Montana is] more dependent on the industry there. It also ranked first for gun ads for private selling per capita, so Montana was number one there. That essentially means in Montana, about 65 percent of households do have a gun.”
Another noteworthy finding, Gonzalez told the outlet, was that despite the state’s high gun ownership, Montana also has very low rates of gun violence and mass shootings.
“We actually did a correlation here in terms of the state dependency on the gun industry versus the number of mass shootings,” she said. “And, Montana is one of the states where you do see a high dependency on the industry with relatively low mass shooting numbers, and that’s the same with states like Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota, so that number does look pretty good here.”
According to Just the News, Montana Shooting Sports Association President Gary Marbut said that although hunting is very popular in the Treasure State, self-defense is another key reason so many Montanans own firearms.
“They just want to be able to choose whether or not to be victims,” he said.
Overall, Montana ranked fifth in the nation for its “dependency” on the gun industry, with Idaho, Wyoming, Kentucky, and South Dakota claiming the top four spots.
The report’s release comes amid a heated national debate on gun rights following a slew of recent shootings around the country.
Last week, as the Senate passed gun control legislation, the Supreme Court struck down strict gun control laws in New York state that required gun owners to show “proper cause” for carrying firearms outside their homes.
Delivering the court’s ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote: “Today, unfortunately, many Americans have good reason to fear that they will be victimized if they are unable to protect themselves. And today, no less than in 1791, the Second Amendment guarantees their right to do so.”
As political tensions and civil unrest continue to rise around the country, concerns surrounding Second Amendment rights are likely to remain front and center.