LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CBSMiami) — As the Numbers from this year’s Black Friday sales come in, one item continues to be in high demand as the FBI received more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record.
This year’s background check requests broke records from Black Friday sales in 2016 and 2015.
At a gun store in Arkansas, General Manager Nathan House is surprised firearms are in such high demand but said consumers won’t turn down a deal.
“We start to see our business pick up usually in the fall and winter months, leading up to Christmas,” he said. “And it stays really busy usually through tax season.”
Compared to a week earlier, Arkansas Armory sold about seven times more firearms than normal.
“I wouldn’t have anticipated that. I would’ve expected it to go down a lot,” said House.
This year’s Black Friday sales resulted in more than 200,000 background check requests to the FBI. In 2016, the national instant check system processed a record 27.5 million background checks in total.
“Gun sales tend to go along with the political cycles, and with the current cycle being what it is, it tends to put a little less pressure on gun sales overall,” House added.
Sales may be rising but are current screenings doing enough to make sure guns don’t land in the wrong hands?
Just four days ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a system review in light of recent shootings around the country.
“We hear from our customers a lot that they’re worried about the current conditions of society and that things just seem to be getting crazy. A lot of people, for the first time, are stepping forward to take personal responsibility for their families’ safety and realize that it can a lot of fun, too,” said the G.M.
Background checks are required for all purchases at licensed dealers. They can only estimate the number of guns sold over the weekend because a buyer can get more than one weapon after clearing that single background check.
“All that comes back to the dealer is simply one of three responses,” House explained. “Either ‘proceed’ and make the sale. ‘Delay,’ meaning the FBI and law enforcement needs to check on something else. Or ‘denied,’ meaning you’re not allowed to make the sale.”
The recent Texas church shooting highlighted problems with the National Instant Check System. The military failed to pass along information that would have disqualified the shooter in that case from buying a gun.
Congress is expected to act, as early as this week, to fix that problem with bi-partisan legislation.