Black Friday Background Checks for Gun Buyers Set Record
By Burt Carey
Gun buyers set out in record numbers on Black Friday this year. The Federal Bureau of Investigations reported 185,345 instant background checks Nov. 27, the most in any single 24-hour period since the system was put into place in 1998.
The background check total beat the previous record of 177,170, set on Dec. 21, 2012, shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass
shooting in Connecticut prompted the Obama administration to call for more gun control regulations. Black Friday of 2014 saw 175,754 background checks come through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), according to FBI records.
The record number of background checks marks a 5 percent increase over the 2014 Black Friday number, said Stephen Fischer, the FBI’s chief of multimedia productions. Black Fridays in 2013 and 2012 also set records. “Black Friday  shattered the single-day record with 185,345 background checks processed in a 24-hour period — or slightly more than two background-checks every second,” Fischer reported.
The number of background checks doesn’t necessarily relate to overall number of guns purchased. The FBI estimates that roughly 1 percent of prospective buyers would be turned down because of a criminal record or other disqualifying information. And multiple firearms could have been sold to a single buyer who passed the NICS examination.
The number of monthly background checks has increased overall in 2015, setting monthly records from May through October.
“As measured by the number of background checks processed by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), this year’s string of high-profile shootings had already encouraged record-breaking sales figures even before anecdotal reports emerged about a new binge set off by the Paris attacks,” reported The Trace, an anti-gun publication produced by journalists who favor gun control with support from former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. “In June, July, September and again in October, the division recorded new monthly records for the number of background checks it performed.
“Meanwhile, since the system was established in 1998, Black Friday has consistently ranked near the top of the list for the most background checks performed in a single day, claiming three of the top 10 highest volumes for a 24-hour period.”
The news was good for pro-gun enthusiasts, including Bob Owen of the website Bearingarms.com. “We view this news with happiness, as many of these firearms and perhaps hundreds of thousands more purchased during the holiday season are going to be ‘first-time’ firearms for many Americans,” he wrote.
The FBI has processed more than 220 million background checks since 1998. Retailers with a Federal Firearms License will deny sales to people who fail background checks based on criminal backgrounds, domestic violence convictions, restraining orders or suspicion that a firearm is being purchased for another person who has not passed a NICS check.