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.
In every state, there are hundreds – if not thousands – of gun stores. Even in some cities, sports men and women, recreational shooters, and firearm enthusiasts have dozens of gun shops to choose from.
Of all the cities and towns in Minnesota, Bemidji has the most gun stores. As of the beginning of the year, there were 18 federally-licensed firearm dealers in Bemidji, or about 117.8 for every 100,000 people.
Across the state as a whole, there were 1,356 firearm stores as of January 2022, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Using FBI firearm background check data as a proxy for gun sales, these stores sold an estimated 458,568 guns in the first half of 2022 – or 8,188 for every 100,000 people, the fifth most among states.
All data on federally-licensed firearm dealers is from the ATF, and gun sale estimates are based on background check data from the FBI. Population figures used to calculate the concentration of gun stores and gun sales per capita are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.
|State||City with the most gun stores||Gun stores in top city||Total gun stores in state||Est. statewide gun sales in first half of 2022|
|South Dakota||Sioux Falls||40||507||41,772|
|Utah||Salt Lake City||29||776||506,367|