A study by the financial website WalletHub on the topic of dependence on the gun industry found Montana ranked first in the U.S. in several metrics including gun ownership and contributions to gun groups per capita.

KGVO News spoke to analyst and attorney for WalletHub Jill Gonzalez about the study and how Montana ranked in several categories.

“We're looking at a number of different metrics here to determine how dependent or independent a state is on the gun industry,” began Gonzalez. “We looked at the firearm industry in general, gun prevalence in terms of ownership and gun politics in terms of contributions for gun control or for gun rights. So those are all the things we looked at here and Montana, which is a big gun state, ranks fifth most dependent on the industry itself.”

The study found unsurprisingly that Montana is a state that values its firearms and gun rights.

“Montana came in first for a few different things here,” she said. “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.”

Montanans also contribute heavily to groups that promote and protect gun ownership and gun rights.

“Specifically, when it comes to gun rights, Montana was number one there,” she said. “Looking at that, per capita, essentially we're looking at around $30,000 in gun rights contributions per capita in terms of gun rights. And then if you compare that to gun control it’s more like $4,000 dollars.”

Montanans can be proud that despite the high percentage of gun ownership and contributions to gun rights organizations, that the state has a very low rate of mass shootings and firearm violence.

“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.”

WalletHub’s report states that ‘there have been over 230 mass shootings, including at an elementary school in Texas and grocery store in New York’, so Montana has been comparatively free of gun violence.

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