The Black Hills of South Dakota have become a Mecca for guns-and-ammo manufacturing. At last count, 32 firearms and ammunition companies were doing business in the Black Hills.
They range from Black Hills Ammunition, with more than 60 employees at its Rapid City facility, to several small companies that specialize in custom rifles.
Some of the firms are home-grown, but others have moved to South Dakota seeking a better business and regulatory climate that allows them the freedom to do business. HS Precision moved to Rapid City from Arizona in 1990 seeking lower taxes and fewer regulations. (South Dakota was the first state in the nation to pass legal protection for firearms manufacturers from lawsuits over injuries caused by guns.)
The Sturgis Industrial Park is home to the largest firearms manufacturing cluster in South Dakota.
A recent wallethub.com report listed South Dakota as eighth in the nation in terms of firearms industry jobs per capita.