LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — In light of recent tragic events, guns have become a trending topic among citizens and politicians across America. Along with political issues, the economic impact of the changing industry is unknown.

The Firearm Industry Trade Association estimates guns contributed more than $70 billion to the U.S. economy and generated nearly $7.9 billion in federal and state taxes in 2021.

The same organization reported the industry was responsible for 5,101 jobs and $852.47 million in economic activity during 2021 in Kentucky.

WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions — firearms industry, gun prevalence, and gun politics — to determine which states economically rely most on the gun industry. Kentucky ranked as the third most dependent.

State by state dependency

Source: WalletHub

Kentucky’s ranking largely relied on the prevalence of guns within households in the state, where it ranked number one according to Wallethub. The ranking was derived from analyzing gun ownership rate, gun sales per 1,000 residents, gun ads for private buying and selling, and Google search interest for gun sales.

Although Kentucky ranked first in gun prevalence, the state also ranked number one for NICS background checks per capita. This check “verifies the buyer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to purchase or own a firearm,” according to the FBI.

The FBI stated that since the launch of NICS in 1998, more than 300 million checks have been done, leading to more than 1.5 million gun purchase denials.