Photo by Gage Skidmore

When you think of states with low gun sales, you think of gun-forsaken places like New York, California, and Washington… Not Florida.

While the three states mentioned above rank low regarding gun sales and gun stores per state, Florida is right there among them. The sunshine state ranks 41st in the country regarding gun stores per 100,000 people, gun sales, and a variety of other non-right-related firearm metrics.

Florida has approximately 13.4 gun stores per 100,000 people, according to The Capitolist. For Reference, the number 1 state, Wyoming, has 97.4 gun stores per 100,000 people. That said, Florida had 2,847 gun stores when the data was collected, while Wyoming only had 566. But population size matters a lot here, which explains the significant disparity between the two figures.

As was reported in The Capitolist:

There are over 393 million guns in circulation in the U.S., according to estimates from the Small Arms Survey, far outnumbering the national population of 327 million. In the United States – the only country in the world home to more civilian-owned guns than people – guns are big business.

While the appropriate balance between gun rights and public safety is a hot button political issue, the economics of the firearm industry are less controversial. According to The Firearm Industry Trade Association, guns and ammunition had a total economic impact of over $70.5 billion in 2021 – generating over a billion dollars in tax revenue and providing hundreds of thousands of jobs.

According to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, there were 2,847 federally licensed dealers or pawn brokers of firearms in Florida as of January 2022, or 13.4 for every 100,000 people – the 10th fewest among states.

The concentration of gun stores reflects current demand for firearms in the state, as Florida ranks in the bottom half for both measures, adjusting for population. FBI firearm background check data, which is a close proxy for firearm sales, shows that an estimated 748,659 guns were sold in Florida in the first half of 2022, or 3,529 for every 100,000 people, the 16th fewest among states.

When we look at the lowest ranked state, New Jersey, it only has 3.5 gun stores per 100 o00 people. This is abysmal, considering the state had 81,209 sales in the first half of 2022. Those stores must have been pretty damn packed.

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