Let's be honest here, there's a handful of topics of conversation that will really get people fired up. One of those topics is guns.  We've heard a lot about guns the last few weeks on social media and in the news and a whole lot of people have a whole lot of opinions on the matter.

I don't write this to try and sway your opinion, either way, I would never assume that I have the power to do that. However, I do think it's important that we understand the impact of guns here in Montana.

Just for the record and to be perfectly transparent, my wife and I are both gun owners and according to some new information, we're certainly not the only ones here in Montana that love our firearms. Guns are big business, in fact, according to NSSF, the industry had a 70 billion dollar impact on our national economy last year.

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So just how popular are guns in Montana? Very.

Bed Full of guns

In fact, according to World Population Review, Montana ranks first in gun ownership in the United States barely edging out our neighbors over in Wyoming. In fact, our other neighbors over in Idaho make the Top 5 as well.  Ok, ok...sure that makes sense, right? I mean the west is an open range and a lot of folks hunt, so that would explain the high gun ownership in the more rural areas, but what about the bigger towns? Surely in a sophisticated place such as Bozeman, gun ownership wouldn't be that high, would it?

Actually, it would.

Did you know that according to one poll, 8 out of 10 Bozemanites are gun owners? Granted it wasn't the most scientific of polls, but it was a poll nonetheless and in the end, 83 percent of people asked owned at least one gun.

Shotgun and Shells
Stefan Malloch

Alright, so Montanans love guns and they all own one, we get it.  However, we don't just love guns here, we are dependent on the gun industry WalletHub did some research to find out which states are the most dependent on the gun industry and Montana makes the Top 5.

Source: WalletHub

Much like gun ownership, gun dependency is big here in the west with the surrounding states of Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota also making the Top 5. There are several different gun-related industries here in Montana. From local gunsmiths to companies that make accessories and ammo, a big part of the Montana economy is depending on firearms.

So whether you are for them, or against them, there is no denying that they are certainly a big part of Montana's heritage and economy and I don't believe that's going to change anytime soon.

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