British Bobby, you have it completely the wrong way around - guns are not important/popular because there is a large domestic gun industry. That is impossible. There is a large industry because they're popular.
It's also a myth that the reason for the difference in gun culture between Europe and the US is simply down to the monarchic, feudal nature of European countries. There are US states and cities that have far stricter laws then many old European countries - try comparing New Jersey to Switzerland, or the Czech Republic for example. Most people don't realize this, but the UK is a nation built on rebellion also; they've had more revolutions and civil wars than the US has had. And look at Ireland, where I come from - a country founded in a bloody revolution less than 100 years ago - yet now our gun laws are even stricter than the UK's.