FBI Says Black Friday Set New Gun Background Check Record

Guns on display in a gun shop
Scott Olson | Getty Images
Guns on display in a gun shop

The FBI said a record-setting number of gun background checks were processed this Black Friday, a possible indicator of higher firearm sales.

This year the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) processed 185,713 transactions the day after Thanksgiving, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer Jr. told NBC News. That breaks the FBI's forecast of approximately 180,000 and the previous record of 185,345, an increase of .2 percent, set during last year's Black Friday.

The day is the kickstart to the holiday shopping season when retailers trying to out-do each other with special deals to lure in shoppers. This year saw also a record $3 billion in overall sales online.

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Anyone who purchases a gun at a federally licensed firearm dealer is required to first fill out a 16-answer form about their background, drug use and criminal history. The store submits that to NICS for processing and whether a purchase is authorized. However just, because a background check was processed doesn't mean the purchase was completed.

The modest bumpup this year is a bright spot for the gun industry. After a runup in sales the week before the election, major gun-makers saw their stocks dive by double-digits. Predictions of a Hillary Clinton had driven stockpiling by customers who feared increased gun restrictions under her administration.

One of the drivers of increased gun purchase interest may be anxious blacks and other minorities who have reportedly been purchasing more firearms after Trump's victory to protect themselves from racial violence and socio-economic unrest.