WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) — More Americans underwent background checks for the purchase of a firearm on Black Friday — more than 185,000 — than on any other single day in the nation’s history, federal officials said.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 185,345 requests on Nov. 27, FBI statistics show.
That’s the highest amount for a single day on record — and almost 10,000 more than were recorded last year on the day after Thanksgiving, considered one of the year’s busiest shopping days.
“This was an approximate 5% increase over the 175,754 received on Black Friday 2014,” wrote Stephen Fischer, the FBI’s chief of multimedia productions. “The previous high for receipts were the 177,170 received on 12/21/2012.”
The previous highs for a single day and single week each occurred in December 2012, following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Officials say background checks typically spike in the aftermath of mass shootings — which means another spike may be coming in the wake of Wednesday’s attack on a social services facility in San Bernardino, Calif.
Licensed gun dealers are required to perform criminal background checks on customers who wish to purchase firearms. Some sellers, though, do not — which has recently prompted federal lawmakers to push for the elimination of a legal loophole in the federal gun laws.
Friday’s numbers were logged on the same day as another mass shooting in Colorado that killed three and wounded nine others.