Gun checks on Black Friday mark fourth busiest day
By Christen Smith
Gun background checks — and by proxy, sales — declined to pre-2016 levels on Black Friday. (Photo: AP)
Background checks for gun sales fell double digits Black Friday, but still ranked the fourth busiest day in the system’s history.
Dealers processed 182,093 applications through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System during the year’s biggest shopping holiday, according to a report from USA Today. A spokesperson told the news outlet activity peaked between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., when the agency fielded more than 17,000 requests and nearly five transactions a minute.
The 10 percent decline comes one year after background check smashed records, clocking in at over 203,000. Less than two percentage points separate this year’s total from second and third place, set in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Six of the FBI’s top 10 days fall on Black Fridays, according to federal data.
NICS checks serve as a proxy measure for gun sales, albeit an imperfect one. Applications for concealed carry permits, periodic rechecks for licenses and a slew of smaller categories for pawns, redemptions, rentals and other rare situations undercut the total amount of checks processed in one month. Guns.com removes these categories from the total figure to more accurately assess actual transfers,