Black Friday Background Checks Soar To Record High

Ronnie Noble checks out a firearm on sale in Gainesville Fla. Friday Nov. 24 2017

Ronnie Noble checks out a firearm on sale in Gainesville Fla. Friday Nov. 24 2017

Black Friday is typically the biggest day of the year for gun purchases and therefore background checks, fueled by holiday shopping and the fall hunting season.

The FBI on Friday received 203,086 requests for instant gun background checks, which would mark nearly a 10 percent increase from 2016 and sets a new record for the most ever in one day, USA Today reported.

Customers at Superior Firearms in Tyler Texas line up to pay for their purchases just after 7 a.m. on Black Friday Nov. 24 2017
Customers at Superior Firearms in Tyler Texas line up to pay for their purchases just after 7 a.m. on Black Friday Nov. 24 2017

The bureau reported that they received approximately 203,086 requests, another record-breaker from the previous high of 185,713 in Black Friday 2016.

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.

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The FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) database system said they fielded 203,086 background checks on Black Friday, a day when U.S. retailers mark down prices on their products to kick off the annual holiday gift-shopping period. 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.

USA Today pointed out that background checks do not indicate the number of guns actually sold because a buyer could purchase more than one gun in a check.

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Donald Trump's pro-gun presidency has contributed to a slowdown in sales this year.

Prospective gun owners got more reason to move faster with purchases just as gunmakers ramped up their discounts. Devin Kelley was able to purchase multiple firearms despite being convicted in a court martial for domestic violence, after the US Air Force failed to enter a previous domestic violence charge into the national database.

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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.

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