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Florida ranks 35th nationally on gun industry independence

With President Barack Obama’s recent executive orders on gun control and the Florida Legislature eyeing bills on the open and campus carrying of weapons, a recent survey finds Florida about midway nationally in terms of its association with the firearms industry.

Florida, according to the in-depth survey conducted by WalletHub, ranked 35th in the nation in terms of its dependence on the gun industry.

The analysis - titled “2016’s States Most Dependent on the Gun Industry” - “compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight key metrics,” according to Diana Popa, communications manager at WalletHub.

The analysis, Popa says, sought to determine which states depended the most on the arms and ammunitions industry “both directly for jobs and political contributions and indirectly through firearm ownership.”

Following is how Florida ranked on each of the eight metrics, with number one representing the most dependant state and number 50 representing the least and the national average ranked at 25. Florida ranked 35 overall, with Idaho at the very top and Delaware at the very bottom.

Number of firearms industry jobs per capita, Florida ranked 26.

Average wages and benefits derived from the firearms industry, Florida ranked 33.

Total firearms industry output per capita, Florida ranked 36.

Total taxes paid by the firearms industry per capita, Florida ranked 21.

Gun ownership, Florida ranked 24.

NICS (National Instant Criminal System) background checks per capita, Florida ranked 33.

Gun-control contributions to Congressional members per capita, Florida ranked 30.

Gun-rights contributions to Congressional members per capita, Florida ranked 37.

WalletHub author Richie Bernardo writes in the survey’s notes that prompting the analysis in large part was the seemingly steady drumbeat of mass shootings and police-brutality headlines, along with the contentious national debate on Second Amendment rights and the impact of guns on the 50 states’ coffers and on society in general.

“On one side of the coin, the gun industry plays an important role in the U.S. economy,” Bernardo writes, noting that one estimate put the total contributions of the firearms and ammunitions industry to the U.S. economy at nearly $43 billion in 2014, as well as accounting for more than 263,000 jobs and $13.7 billion in wages.

During the same year, Bernardo writes, federal and state governments collected more than $5.79 billion in taxes from the industry, plus an additional $863.7 million in federal excise duties.

“But the losses from gun violence certainly put those gains in perspective,” Bernardo continues, citing a recent Mother Jones’ analysis that put the estimated cost of fatal and nonfatal gun violence in 2012 at $229 billion in the United States.

“According to the authors of the [Mother Jones] report,” Bernardo writes, “that toll ‘would have been $47 billion more than Apple's 2014 worldwide revenue and $88 billion more than what the US government budgeted for education that year.’”

WalletHub describes itself as a one-stop destination for all the tools and information that consumers and small business owners need to make better financial decisions and save money. It claims to lead the industry “thanks to a unique combination of social features, expert insights and a vast amount of constantly-updating information.”

For the full report, visit http://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-dependent-on-the-gun-industry/18719/.

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