Black Friday Background Checks Soar To Record High

Michele Moreno
November 28, 2017

The FBI says it had 203,086 requests for background checks on Friday, smashing the previous single-day record of 185,713, which was set on Black Friday past year, USA Today reports.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has recently been scrutinized and put under a verbal microscope when Attorney Jeff Sessions directed the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to do a comprehensive review of the NICS and its procedures.

Black Friday, the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, had previously set records for the most instant Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks in 2015 and 2016. Two of the largest gun manufacturers, Remington Arms Company and Browning Arms Company, reportedly offered cash rebates of up to $200 on shotguns and $100 on rifles this year.

Federal authorities, meanwhile, have for years openly complained that incomplete databases and staff shortages make it hard to keep pace with the constant stream of background checks required of most new gun purchasers and efficiently trace firearms used in crimes. Cabela's, a national retailer, offered a 14-day sale on rifle, handgun and ammunition deals. However, a 2015 Time magazine report suggested that mass shootings could increase gun sales: "Spikes in gun sales regularly occur following mass shootings, often over concerns of increased gun regulation or because people are looking for increased protection", Time reported.

Sessions cited the November 5 shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, as proof that "relevant information may not be getting reported to the NICS".

There have been other cases in which the shooter was legally barred from buying or possessing a gun, but was able to buy the parts and build it themselves. For a record number of Americans, the answer seems to be to buy a firearm.

RTSP, a gun store and range in Randolph, New Jersey, surpassed last year's Black Friday for sales, and that carried through the weekend for the store's highest-grossing week since February, said Rick Friedman, the CEO.

Alarmingly, the latest figure does not necessarily represent the amount of guns sold, which could be HIGHER as buyers can purchase more than one firearm per check.

Other reports by Insurance News

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