The study measured several factors, including gun ownership, gun sales per capita, how many people were employed by the firearms industry, and contributions to Congressional members by gun-rights and gun-control groups. Wyoming ranked in the top five in most categories.
Ron Gullberg is the communications director for the Wyoming Business Council and said while the state may rank highly in this study, Wyoming is still primarily an energy state.
“Wyoming’s economy is predominantly driven by the energy industry, and when you look at these efforts to grow our outdoor recreation industry, which includes everything from tourism to outdoor equipment and retail manufacturing, firearms manufacturing is a slice of that but not everything,” said Gullberg.
Still, he said firearms are an important part of Wyoming’s recreation culture.
“You look at hunting and fishing and the culture and sports shooting, and so there’s a whole tourism element to firearms that has the effect on the economy. It’s very important in Wyoming and it goes from business to tourism,” he said.
In recent years, firearms accessories manufacturer Magpul has begun operations in Cheyenne and has finalized a contract with the Marine Corps to be its exclusive magazine manufacturer.
In 2016, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead also announced three initiatives to promote shooting sports, by increasing access to shooting ranges, recognizing the top 100 shooters in the state, and hosting a national two-gun shooting competition.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly characterized Magpul as a firearms and ammunitions manufacturer. Magpul manufactures firearm accessories.