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Gun business exploding in the Black Hills
News Staff - March 20, 2018

STURGIS, SD  - The personal-finance website Wallethub released a report on states that are most dependent on the gun industry in 2018. South Dakota falls number four on that list.

With some of the devastating events taking place and talk on legislation to change gun laws, one local gun seller says he thinks that the business has been politically motivated since last year, creating what he calls "panic buying" among consumers. According to Mark Blote of First Stop Gun, when mass shootings occur, more purchases are made because consumers are concerned they won’t be able to buy guns in the future.

The WalletHub study ranks South Dakota number one in the country when it comes to gun politics. That includes contributions per capita to the state's Congressional delegation from both gun rights and gun control groups and the NRA Victory Fund's grade, based on senators voting records.

Firearms manufacturing is becoming a big business in the Black Hills. South Dakota is home to about 40 firearms companies, according the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. And most of them are in the Black Hills.

Sturgis has become home to a growing number of guns-and-ammo manufacturing firms. Officials with the state office of economic development estimate that the industry employs as many as 130 people or more in the community.

According to a report in Fortune Magazine, "South Dakota has become a haven for small firearms factories, wholesalers and retailers thanks to low taxes, minimal regulations, tax-payer incentives to set up shop and do business, and gun-friendly residents," the magazine reported.



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