Black Friday Sets Record for Gun Background Checks

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The two previous single-day records were also set on Black Fridays.

Federal authorities, meanwhile, have for years openly complained that incomplete databases and staff shortages make it hard to keep pace with the constant stream of background checks required of most new gun purchasers and efficiently trace firearms used in crimes.

Last week the Department of Justice ordered a review of the background check system to determine whether law enforcement agencies are properly reporting crimes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The figures also represent a almost 10% rise in the requested background checks from Black Friday in 2016, when 185,713 applied.

In a statement earlier this week, 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".

RTSP, a gun store and range in Randolph, New Jersey, surpassed last year's Black Friday for sales, and that carried through the weekend for the store's highest-grossing week since February, said Rick Friedman, the CEO. Because the Federal Bureau of Investigation may turn down some buyers, these requests aren't a ideal representation of gun sales, but they are suggestive of demand.

The NCIS is to created to allow instant background checks on prospective gun owners.

The increase may be due, in part, to Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordering a review of the system after an Air Force veteran massacred 25 churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas with a rifle he should not have been permitted to purchase if the Air Force reported his criminal convictions.

A total of 26 people were killed November 5 when a gunman opened fire on people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

And even though gun sales were down during the first year of the Trump administration, gun sales tend to increase following mass shootings. Devin P. Kelly, the gunman who killed 26 people, was charged with assault in 2012 according to Air Force records, and this information was never submitted to the NICS database.

Gun demand rose as President Barack Obama called for tougher regulations after major shootings and then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton led in many election polls.

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