Black Friday deals aren’t just for 4k TVs or video game consoles. It’s also a HUGE day for buying firearms here in the good ole’ USA, where federal authorities say this year was the biggest year for gun sales ever. This isn’t really a huge surprise to sportsman, who flood sporting goods stores like Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s since it’s right around the beginning of hunting season. Last Black Friday I went to the massive Cabelas off I-78 in Hamburg, Pennsylvania and it was ABSOLUTELY MOBBED with thousands of people buying everything from moccasin slippers to Winchester thirty-aught-sixs.
Anyway, this year’s Black Friday was a huge day if you’re a gun merchant, according to the New York Times:
The agency ran a record 185,345 background checks on Friday, about 5 percent more than the amount processed through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System on that day in 2014, a figure that is seen as a strong indicator of how many guns were sold, The Associated Press reported.
But since about 40 percent of all gun sales are through unlicensed dealers, that figure probably underestimated how many firearms actually changed hands, said Jon Vernick, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.
The federal system checks the records of people trying to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer, but are not required for those purchasing from many small-scale, unlicensed retailers who sell in places like the gun shows that were held in Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Missouri and other states on Friday.
Interesting fact about all this, though. Despite the huge boom of sales in the last few months, the NYT notes the overall number of heat-packing households is actually in a four-decade decline compared to back-in-the-day.