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The recently concluded 2016 Black Friday sales event saw hordes of consumers flocking to different retail outlets to try to get the best deals on the latest electronics and gadgets. However, new data from the FBI National Instant Background Check System (FBI NICS) has revealed that gadgets apparently weren’t the only things on people’s shopping lists, as the day itself has reportedly set a new record for background checks compared to previous years.
According to the recently revealed FBI records, this year’s Black Friday saw around 185,713 firearm background checks across the United States, the highest single-day record. The number surpassed last year’s figures of about 185,345 checks and the 175,754 checks done on 2014’s Black Friday. The number of checks that are run usually increase during the holiday season, but has been observed to significantly increase during Black Friday.
It has to be noted that the number of checks do not necessarily translate to a single gun sold, as checks are done for other purposes including federal firearms license requests and permits. Some customers also purchase more than one firearms. Despite this the FBI’s records are still used as an indicator for gun purchase trends in the country.
Several firearms and sporting goods retailers had launched different promotional campaigns which offered significant discounts for select firearms and ammunition. This year’s FBI background checks had peaked a few days before the U.S. National Elections, with records then slowly dropping and then going at a steady rate after Donald Trump’s victory. Some reports have attributed the steady pace of checks to an increase in consumer confidence as a Clinton win would have likely translated to fear of more stringent firearm law and policy revisions.
President-elect Donald Trump had continually expressed his support for gun owners during his campaign trail, while Clinton expressed her desire to pursue stricter gun regulations if she was put in office.