U.S. gun background checks hit new record on Black Friday

Black Friday was big business for retailers, with companies raking in $7.9 billion in online sales alone on Thanksgiving and the day after-up 17.9% from a year ago.

Sweaters, TVs and slippers have always been hot items on Black Friday.

For the third year in a row, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted more background checks on Black Friday than any other day in history.

More than 200,000 background check requests were submitted to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System across the country this Friday, USA Today reported, breaking the previous record of 185,713 requests made on the same holiday shopping day past year.

Black Friday seems to have set another retail record this year ― for guns. According to USA Today, the prior record-setting days fell on Black Friday, too.

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The number of actual firearm purchases is likely higher because one person can buy multiple firearms in one transaction.

Gun sales have slowed down this year after unusually strong demand around the presidential election a year ago.

Friday's background checks record come in the wake of recent mass shootings in this country - including deadly massacres in Las Vegas and at a Texas church. 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.

The 200,000 plus background checks on Friday comes after the worst massing shooting in the state of Texas's history, and after it was revealed that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) did not have the necessary information to prevent the shooter from buying a gun in the first place.

Sessions said the November 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, by Devin Kelley, a former Air Force serviceman who had a 2012 conviction for domestic assault, showed that not all the necessary information was being added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

  • Megan Austin