In this July 20, 2014 photo, with guns displayed for sale behind her, a gun store employee helps a customer at Dragonman’s, east of Colorado Springs, Colo. When Colorado lawmakers expanded background checks on firearms last year, they were expecting a huge increase. But the actual number the first 12 months of the law is far lower than projected, according to an analysis of state data by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Black Friday has come and gone and once again, we’re looking at an America that wants to give the gift of the gun.
According to Fox Business, this holiday season saw a nearly record-breaking amount of background checks for the FBI:
The FBI ran the second-highest number of gun background checks on Black Friday 2019, which is an 11 percent increase from the previous year and an indication that firearm sales are on the rise, officials said.
The agency conducted 202,465 gun background checks on Nov. 29, 2019, which is the second-highest number seen since the bureau implemented the checks in 1998. This year’s big-shopping day is second only to Black Friday 2017, when the FBI ran 203,086 checks, records show.
Black Friday’s numbers were 11 percent higher than 2018, when 182,093 checks were fielded, according to the data.
Though the agency’s background check data typically includes permit checks and re-checks and is, therefore, higher than the number of actual gun sales, it is often indicative of trends in sales in the firearm industry.
As Fox Business reported, a check doesn’t necessarily equate to a gun sale, but it still indicates where the public’s head was when it came to Christmas gifts. According to WHBQ-TV, who interviewed gun store owners, they reported having their best sales days ever.
“Danny Metcalf said last year he sold about 70 guns on Black Friday. This year he sold about 125,” reported WHBQ.
According to customers, the reason for getting a gun this holiday season ranges from crime protection to the fact that the 2020 election may bring with it the threat of a ban of some sort, and they want to get their gun now just in case:
Rickie Smith lives in Horn Lake. He was shopping for guns early Monday morning.
“Not only for crime but for home defense and myself, I can carry legally, and a lot of people like to go hunting and so it’s that time of the year,” Smith said.
Adrian Terry of Horn Lake said the upcoming election and talk of a ban on certain weapons has been helping sales.
“Every time they talked about banning things like AR-15s they sold like hotcakes,” he said.
Multiple gun store owners around the Mid-South told FOX13 customers tell them they are buying weapons because of crime.
“But mainly people want to be able to defend themselves because of the crime rate, Terry said. “You step out the front door now and you don’t know what is going to happen to you.”
It was the same story in Kansas City according to KCTV:
The line for guns at Cabela’s stayed steady all day. The store’s management said that on their busiest days, the gun department is the busiest section of their store.
“It’s pretty crowded,” said Alan Seibel, a shopper. “The traffic getting in here was pretty rough. We’re not used to that.”
Hundreds of pre-sale background checks were done at the store on Friday.
Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, noted that the election is definitely going to be a spur for gun sales this year according to Fox Business.
“This tells us Americans are voting with their wallets when it comes to their ability to exercise Second Amendment rights,” said Oliva. “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,” he added.
If each background check did equal a sale, then Americans bought enough firearms to arm the Marine Corps. Perhaps that’s not the total number, but if the checks and the reports from gun shop owners are any indications, then the American populace just became a lot more armed.