Shop owners across the US have reported a marked increase in interest over the holiday season, and gun background checks hit a new record on Black Friday
Thursday 24 December 2015
This year, among the socks and sweaters, bottles of wine, a large number of Americans will find another present: guns.
Gun shop owners across the US have reported a marked increase in interest in their products over the holidays. In November, the FBI ran more than 2.2m gun background checks, a 24% increase from last year. Gun background checks hit a new record on Black Friday, when 185,345 were processed by the FBI.
FBI background checks, which are processed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check system, are not the most accurate indicator of actual gun sales. The checks are conducted for federally licensed gun purchases and for permits to carry guns. A background check does not mean that a gun was purchased. Shoppers can also purchase multiple guns with one sale, which requires just one background check. However, manufacturers rely on the background check statistics to measure how the industry is doing.
This holiday season, the industry seems to be booming.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, many shoppers looked to purchase a gun on Black Friday. Belinda Gallegos, who is a co-owner of ABQ Guns, told KOAT Action 7 News that most of those people were shopping for guns as Christmas gifts.
“They’ll come in, then they’ll be looking and they’ll leave, then I’ll get a call: ‘Hey, remember that gun we were looking at? Well, she really liked it so I am going to come get it. Don’t tell her.’ Five minutes later, ‘Hey, remember that gun he really liked?’” said Gallegos.
Kelly Womack, who is a co-owner of Fort Chaffee Outfitters in Arkansas, said her store sold 40 guns on Black Friday and “a lot of those were gifts”. “What we didn’t sell in guns, we sold in accessories, which were gifts,” Womack told KFSM, a local TV station.