FBI background checks for gun sales hit an all-time high on Black Friday 2016, breaking the previous record set last year during Thanksgiving’s Black Friday.
Licensed firearm dealers filed 185,713 background checks on Friday, or roughly 400 more than the FBI processed on Black Friday last year, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer told Fortune magazine.
The previous record had been 177,170 checks on Dec. 21, 2012. Dealers licensed by the federal government contact the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to ensure buyers do not have criminal records or other legal barriers to gun ownership.
Gun sales tend to follow political events, like when President Obama campaigns on tighter gun regulations or starts talking about unconstitutionally changing the laws with his pen and his cell phone. This year, some predicted a gun sales slump after NRA-endorsed Donald Trump defeated the gun-hostile Hillary Clinton. Yet other reports indicated a surge in firearm purchases in minority communities following Trump’s election.
The latest gun sales indicate that Americans want their firearms regardless of who is in office. This may be due to an increased fear of terrorism, as there was a terrorist attack only yesterday at Ohio State University, or the increase in deadly violence in gun-controlled cities like Chicago or Baltimore.
Reports that gun stocks Smith & Wesson and Ruger dropped upon the news that Trump won the election also lead the smart set to conclude that gun sales would drop on Black Friday, but those stocks have bounced back to a large degree.
The new record level of background checks should please the “sensible gun law” crowd as these new gun purchasers will have passed a background check in order to purchase their firearms. We hear much clap trap from the anti-Second Amendment groups about “universal background checks,” otherwise known as “making private sales of firearms illegal,” but we never hear positive remarks about the increasing number of gun buyers who go through the background check system. I wonder why that is…