Report: 186,000+ Firearm Background Checks on Black Friday 2020

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Over 186,000 firearm background checks were performed on Black Friday 2020, making it the fourth-highest one-day total for National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks on record.

USA Today reported that there were 186,645 NICS checks on Black Friday 2020.

Forbes observed this year’s Black Friday shoppers would be met by “lean inventories and Covid-19 restrictions,” noting that Friday was the day North Carolina’s mask mandate took effect. The outlet also noted that lockdowns in California were not helpful to gun sales.

For example, Danielle Jaymes, general manager of Poway, California’s Poway Weapons and Gear Range, said, “[On] Black Friday we were down about 50% versus last year. We were still busy, but we were down 50% because California is on lockdown. We could only allow a certain number of people inside at a time, so it really hindered what we can do.”

This year has been a record for NICS checks in America. On November 9, 2020, the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) reported that the number of checks conducted January 2o20 through October 2020 alone represented “13% more checks than the previous busiest year for the NICS office.”

The number of background checks conducted on a given Black Friday or during a given month do not tell the full story on gun sales, as multiple guns may be purchased with each background check. (A background check is conducted on the buyer, not on the gun he or she wishes to buy.) Yet background checks do give some indication regarding the demand for firearms.

And with the tally that represents the fourth-highest single day ever for background checks, Black Friday 2020 was a day in which guns were in high demand.

 

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The number of background checks conducted on a given Black Friday or during a given month do not tell the full story on gun sales, as multiple guns may be purchased with each background check.
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Americans Flocked to Gun Stores on Black Friday
Holiday surge comes after Biden victory
Americans rushed to gun stores in record numbers in the aftermath of the 2020 election and over the Thanksgiving weekend.

This year's Black Friday saw the fourth most gun-related background checks in a single day since 1998, according to data released by the FBI. Five of the top 10 busiest single days in the history of the background-check system have occurred in 2020, which has already set the record for most gun sales in a year. November overwhelmed gun stores, leading up to one of the busiest shopping days of the year. About 1.8 million background checks were processed in the first two weeks of November as Joe Biden pulled in front of President Trump in vote tallies.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gunmakers and dealers, said Biden's election performance drove Americans back to the gun counter even after unprecedented sales surges in March and June.

"I think that people are looking at the Biden gun-control plan, at what he said he wants to do," Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the group, told the Washington Free Beacon. "People are concerned and they're buying firearms and want to buy while they can still buy them."

Oliva pointed to Biden's plan to ban new and online sales of popular guns and his gun-registration-and-tax-scheme, which is estimated to cost upward of $34 billion, as motivating factors for many buyers.

Rex McClanahan, president of BudsGunShop.com—one of the largest gun dealers in the country—said his company had better sales than in previous years. He credited the election for helping to drive sales through the online store.
"We did see a surge on Black Friday," he told the Free Beacon. "I do believe the election is playing some part in the current surge."

Gun-rights advocates are pinning their hopes of stopping Biden's gun-control push on the Georgia runoffs, which will decide control of Senate for the next two years. The National Rifle Association has already begun pushing hundreds of thousands of dollars into the state to support pro-gun Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who favor new gun-control laws. Winning just one of the two races would give Republicans a majority and could hamstring most of Biden's gun-control efforts.

Oliva also said looking at just Black Friday's numbers may be underestimating the sales over the holiday weekend, as the industry has made a concerted effort to spread sales out over three days to keep the National Instant Criminal Background Check System from being overwhelmed. He said the 2020 Black Friday holiday weekend as a whole saw more sales than previous years, with higher single-day sales up more than 4 percent compared to last year. That's because of a 65 percent Cyber Monday increase despite slightly slower sales on Black Friday.

 
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