Washington, DC – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the second-highest number of background checks in a single day on Black Friday, an 11 percent increase from 2018.
The FBI ran 202,465 background checks on Nov. 29, the second-highest quantity since the background check system was implemented in 1998, FOX News reported.
Black Friday 2019 was second only to the same shopping holiday in 2017, when records showed the FBI processed 203,086 background check requests.
Experts are quick to point out that the number of background checks conducted does not correlate with the number of firearms that were sold on Black Friday, when many stores were holding huge sales, WXIN reported.
“You could buy 3 or 4 guns from that one background check, so it’s not going to tell you how many guns were sold but it’s a good indication,” former FBI Special Agent Doug Kouns explained.
USA Today reported that the number of firearms background checks was approaching the one-year record of 27.5 million in 2016.
That was the year that former President Barack Obama’s administration pushed tougher gun-control legislation.
But while past spikes in the number of background checks requested came at a time when anti-gun legislators were threatening to implement ore firearms laws, the biggest jumps in 2019 happened after the active shooters killed people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, according to USA Today.
Almost 23 million background checks had been processed by October putting 2019 on track to blow away the 2016 number.
The fact that gun control remains on the Democratic agenda and a talking point in the 2020 Presidential campaign is also expected to continue boosting firearm sales nationwide, USA Today reported.
The FBI has asked for additional funding and more personnel to help manage the influx of background check requests.
The former FBI agent told WXIN that the agency has had to switch around staffing to handle the Black Friday surge in recent years.
“Last year they redirected a number of resources from a number of departments… to accommodate the surge in background checks for Black Friday,” Kouns said. “They’ll take people off lesser priority projects to get them over this hump.”
He explained why the FBI was in such a rush to get the checks processed – the agency only has three days to deny the buyer or the sale can proceed.
“The clock is on for the bureau to resolve it within three days or that seller can go ahead and make the transaction,” Kouns told WXIN.
Some stores have a policy of waiting longer to hear back, but that is not what the law requires.
Shoppers didn’t seem worried about wait periods as they flocked to gun stores holding Black Friday sales, WXIN reported.
“Some really good deals on specific guns I’ve been looking at,” a shopper said. “’Bout 200 off of a handgun just for home defense.”
Another shopper said that he wouldn’t find a better deal on a gun for the rest of the year, according to WXIN.
National Shooting Sports Foundation Director of Public Affairs Mark Oliva said people consider the purchase of a firearm to be a “significant investment” and don’t usually buy guns “on a whim,” FOX News reported.
“This tells us Americans are voting with their wallets when it comes to their ability to exercise Second Amendment rights,” he told FOX News. “Interestingly, Americans are turning out to buy the firearms they want in increasing numbers even as politicians on the national stage and in some states are increasingly vocal on restricting Second Amendment rights.”
“Americans are choosing to invest their hard-earned dollars in their ability [to] exercise their rights and buy the firearms they want before gun control politicians attempt to regulate away that ability,” Olivia said.