FBI says background checks for Black Friday gun purchases hit record high


Black Friday seems to have set another retail record this year ― for guns. 

The FBI told USA Today that the agency received more than 200,000 requests for background checks tied to firearm purchases on Friday ― a single-day record that’s about 17,000 higher than last year. 

That makes three straight years of record high gun checks on Black Friday. This year, the FBI received 203,086 background check requests for gun purchases. In 2016, it received 185,713 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous record of 185,345 set on Black Friday in 2015. 

The 2015 record smashed the previous single-day mark set Dec. 21, 2012, exactly one week after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut. Of the 10 highest days for firearms checks, four are from the week following Sandy Hook. 

Mass shootings in the U.S. are becoming more common and more deadly, with three of the worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history in the past 18 months. Two of the five deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history ― the Las Vegas massacre in October and Sutherland Springs, Texas, mass shooting in November ― occurred within 35 days of each other.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with Johnnie Langendorff, who was one of the heroes that chased the assailant, near the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S., November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence hugs Evelyn Holcombe at Floresville highschool in Floresville, Texas, U.S., November 8, 2017. Holcombe was in the church during the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence hugs Joe Holcombe at Floresville high school in Floresville, Texas, U.S., November 8, 2017. Holcombe was in the church during the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Holcombe lost eight extended family members during the shooting. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
U.S. vice-president Mike Pence (R) hugs Stephen Willeford, the man who shot the shooter in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Floresville, Texas, November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence hugs Pastor Frank Pomeroy, whose daughter was killed in the recent shooting, near First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S., November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (L) greets U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as he arrives at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, U.S., November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen greet a couple at Floresville high school during a visit with family and victims of the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, before a vigil in Floresville, Texas, U.S., November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
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As USA Today points out, the number of background checks requests do not measure actual gun sales, since it only requires one background check for a buyer to purchase multiple firearms in a single transaction. So, the number of guns sold on Black Friday is likely higher than the number of background check requests received by the FBI.

Since sale numbers are not public, NPR reports that background check requests are the best available proxy to estimate gun sales.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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