FBI receives over 200,000 gun check requests on Black Friday

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Sunday 26 November 2017 11:45
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Picture:(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Black Friday 2017 the FBI received an unprecedented amount of background checks for guns.

The Black Friday sales even apply to firearms, and, according to figures released by the FBI, this year there were 203,086 requests for background checks.

According to figures published by the FBI, it was an increase on other single-day highs, such as 185,713 in 2016, and 185,345 in 2015.

Multiple firearms can be purchased in one transaction, so the total of requests received Friday is probably lower than the number of firearms actually purchased.

Background checks are conducted by the FBI when a gun is purchased from a federally licenced dealer.

The check is carried out by the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS).

Checks reveal a record of an arrest - but often the record lacks important details such as whether the arrest was dismissed or resulted in a conviction.

FBI staff working on the check system must then rush to fill in these important gaps, within the three-day waiting period for gun background checks.

Black Friday's record breaking trend:

The number of checks requested on Friday was not just a high for Black Friday, but was the highest single day since 1998.

In the NICS' records, five of the top 10 highest days for requests occurred on a Black Friday in the last five years.

  • 24 Nov 2017 - 203,086
  • 25 Nov 2016 - 185,713
  • 27 Nov 2015 - 185, 345
  • 21 Dec 2012 - 177, 170
  • 28 Nov 2014 - 175,754
  • 04 Mar 2014 - 167,684
  • 20 Dec 2012 - 159,604
  • 23 Nov 2012 - 154,873
  • 22 Dec 2012 - 153,697
  • 19 Dec 2012 - 153,672

(Black Fridays in Bold)

Reforming the system:

This week the US Air Force (USAF) admitted it had failed to provide NICS with information regarding a domestic violence conviction of their former officer Devin Kelley.

As a result Kelley was able to purchase the rifle, which he is accused of using to kill at least 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

According to USA Today the USAF has said it is investigating the failure to provide this information.

In a memo to officials in the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, issued Wednesday, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to review NICS to prevent this kind of oversight from recurring.

In a statement, Sessions said;

[NICS] is critical for us to be able to keep guns out of the hands of those that are prohibited from owning them...

The recent shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas revealed that relevant information may not be getting reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System - this is alarming and it is unacceptable.

HT USA Today

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