The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) recorded a historic surge in background checks on November 24, 2023, marking Black Friday with a record-setting number of checks. This increase is indicative of a growing trend in firearm purchases in the United States, reflecting a continuous rise in gun sales during significant shopping events like Black Friday.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the FBI conducted an unprecedented 214,913 NICS checks on this particular Black Friday, significantly overshadowing the previous year’s count of 192,749 checks. This escalation represents a substantial increase compared to the 187,585 NICS checks performed on Black Friday in 2021 and the 186,645 checks in 2020. This steady climb over the years highlights a growing interest and demand for firearms among American consumers.
The NSSF further revealed that during the week encompassing Black Friday, there were a total of 680,671 NICS background checks related to firearms. This figure underscores the intense activity and high volume of firearm transactions occurring during this peak shopping period.
It’s important to note that the number of NICS checks doesn’t directly equate to the number of firearms sold. This is because the checks are conducted on individuals purchasing firearms, rather than on the firearms themselves. Consequently, a single successful background check could result in the purchase of multiple firearms. Therefore, while the 214,913 NICS checks indicate a minimum of that many firearms sold, the actual number could be much higher. For instance, if each approved buyer acquired two guns, the total sales could reach up to 429,826 firearms.
This surge in firearm purchases, as reflected by the NICS checks, could be attributed to various factors, including concerns over personal safety, changes in gun ownership laws, or cultural shifts in attitudes towards firearms. The trend also suggests that events like Black Friday are becoming increasingly significant for the firearms industry, both as an indicator of market health and as a key sales period.
The record-breaking NICS checks on Black Friday 2023 not only mark a historic moment in terms of firearm sales but also provide insights into the evolving landscape of gun ownership in America. As these trends continue, they will likely shape future discussions and policies regarding firearms in the United States.