Background checks for new gun purchases reached a one-day record high of 154,873 requests this past Black Friday, November 23. The volume of prospective gun purchasers overwhelmed the FBI call center so much that it caused two outages, one that lasted for 18 minutes and the other for 14 minutes.
The 154,873 background checks represented a 20 percent increase over 2011’s Black Friday, when 129,166 NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) checks were conducted, a previous one-day record, according to FBI records. The 2011 figure was a 32 percent increase over the previous one-day record set on Black Friday in 2008 when Barack Obama was first elected.
While the FBI does not track gun sales, the organization surmises that more firearms are purchased than there are background checks that are conducted since multiple firearms may be bought by one buyer in a single purchase. Most of the NICS requests on that day were made for long guns, nearly 62 percent.
Many gun store owners attribute the spike in sales partially to Obama’s reelection, which some gun enthusiasts anticipate will result in the passage of strict gun control legislation.