Black Friday Sets Record for Gun Background Checks

Black Friday Sets Record for Gun Background Checks

Kerry Wise
November 28, 2017

According to USA Today, there were 203,086 requests for instant gun background checks on 24 November - a record for the most ever in one day.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday ordered a review of a government database used for background checks on gun buyers, after a man who killed 26 people in a Texas church was left off the system despite having a criminal record.

Last week the Department of Justice ordered a review of the background check system to determine whether law enforcement agencies are properly reporting crimes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday. The previous record of 185,000 background checks on Black Friday 2016 narrowly beat the record set on Black Friday 2015.

Gun checks, required for purchases at federally licensed firearm dealers, are not a measure of actual gun sales. Cabela's, a specialty retailer for outdoor recreation sports such as hunting and shooting, rolled out 14 days of rifle, handgun, and ammunition deals in an effort to drum up sales.

However, USA TODAY noted that while a background check may show an arrest record, it doesn't provide additional details on whether the case was resolved or resulted in a felony conviction, which would've also blocked a gun purchase.

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The only day in the top five which had nothing to do with Black Friday was on December 21, 2012. "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 Sutherland Springs church shooter was former Air Force enlisted-man Devin Kelley, who under US law should not have been able to purchase a firearm.

The review will examine whether other government agencies are failing to report information to the database.

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. That number is likely higher, because a single buyer can obtain several guns in a single transaction.