New Hampshire ranks highest in firearms manufacturing study

Per capita sales of nearly $793 per person is tops in U.S.

New Hampshire ranks at the top among all states when it comes to manufacturing firearms, according to a recently released study by WalletHub.

But because it doesn’t rank so high when it comes to gun ownership, and its congressional delegation tends to favor gun control, the state finished 12th in the study’s rankings, which measured dependence on the gun industry.

Thanks to industry giants like Sig Sauer in Newington and Sturm Ruger’s facility in Newport, sales of firearms in New Hampshire totaled $722.92 per person, the biggest output per capita in the union, according to WalletHub.

New Hampshire also ranked second in the number of firearms manufacturing jobs per capita, right behind Idaho.

Sturm Ruger sells a lot of guns. Sales for last year were $664.3 million last year, a 21 percent increase over 2015. The company also has two other plants, in Arizona and North Carolina, but employs about 1,200 its 2,110 employees in New Hampshire.

As a private company, Sig Sauer doesn’t disclose its sales, but it’s a good bet that they are going up. The company just landed a 10-year, $580 million contract to supply the U.S. Army with a new standard issue sidearm. The company last reported it employed 900 people in New Hampshire, but that information has not been updated for a few years, and will probably increase in the coming years.

New Hampshire also was given a ranking of six in the “gun prevalence” category, even though it ranked rather low on the “gun ownership” ranking (47th, fifth from the bottom). But that category also includes guns sales per capita, as well as gun ads for private buying in selling. In other words, it seems that guns are prevalent in New Hampshire because they are being sold here, but being owned by someone from another state, a complaint often voiced by police departments in cities in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

The state ranked 45th in the “gun politics” category, because it was based solely on contributions to members of congress. Currently the New Hampshire congressional delegation is all Democratic, and tends to get more money from the gun control lobby than the National Rifle Association.

Since gun politics accounts for 30 percent of the state’s overall “gun dependent” score, the state fell far behind Alaska, which led the nation with a score of 80 and Idaho, which came in at 73. The Granite State finished with 54. That was the highest ranking in New England however. Rhode Island finished last with a score of 8. 

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