Black Friday NICS checks breaks record

Sales Chart

I used NICS (FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System) checks instead of gun sales, because in all honesty the news is about NICS, and not gun sales per say. I don’t know, there could have been a number of firearms traded or bought used last Friday as well. But regardless, this very closely correlates to gun sales, and if that is so, then this years Black Friday sales seem to have made the record for the most gun sales ever conducted with the help of a NICS check (not private purchase, CMP, or gifting). I’ve read somewhere on the news that some companies or people were expecting up to 190,000, and that estimate was pretty close to the actual numbers of 185,345 checks that actually took place. This exceeded last years Black Friday NICS checks by around 10,000 checks/purchases at 175,174 and was higher than the previous record in 2012, at 177,170 checks.

From USAA-

More Americans had their backgrounds checked purchasing guns on Black Friday than any day in the on record, according to data released by the FBI this week.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 185,345 requests on Nov. 27, one of the largest retail sales days in the country.

“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.”

I’m interested into why this might have happened this year, instead of being another average year. I don’t think there was any political/law change that would have started this, there hasn’t been anything like the Sandy Hook AR scare in 2012 to have taken place. If anything, I’ve been hearing rumors around the internet that the Black Friday deals were not all that great compared to last years. Maybe companies and shops were just a little more effective at getting their products out this year. Tell us what you think.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Jeremy Star

    Don’t forget, in NC – and probably some other states too – if you have a Concealed Handgun Permit you do NOT have to have a NICS check when purchasing a firearm. This means that my Black Friday firearm purchase (which was a coincidence, since it was a special order) was not tracked by a NICS check.

    • Nick Aschenbecker

      That’s a really sensible law. If you have to go through a background check every—what is it? 3 years?—anyway. So much less hassle since you’ve already been vetted. I like that.

      • J.K.

        If only we can apply this to NFA items too and skip the 4-5 months wait.

        • BattleshipGrey

          And the $200.

          • supergun

            Double taxation

      • Jeremy Star

        Ours are good for 5 years. Since our background check is FAR more extensive than the NICS it clears the Federal requirements.

    • J.K.

      TX also skips NICS for CHL holders. And, I too made a coincidental purchase of an AR-10 lower receiver during BF, which will not go through NICS when I pick it up from my FFL.

    • Don Ward

      I live I Washington State. I have a CPL and had to do the background check on a couple of recent purchases.

    • supergun

      Probably more than double the number checked.

  • BattleshipGrey

    My guess is that people are trying to get ahead of any political issues and panics. By this time next year, people will already have their answer as to who will become president and that may very well equate to becoming a full blown panic.

    I’ve been curious as to how many checks are done on any given day compared to big sales days like Black Friday. Part of my curiosity is to try to get a better estimate of the number of guns in the US. I know we’ll never really know, but it’s got to be a great deal more than the 350 million that’s been estimated for the last two or three decades.

  • Maxpwr

    I know some states with CCW don’t do background checks at all on sales to valid permit holders, but what about states that do their own checks? WI has a separate “Handgun Hotline” dealers call. Does anyone know if these states use a system that also contacts/uses/counts as NICS or are those state background checks missing from these NICS numbers as well? I’m sure the answer is out there, but couldn’t find it via Google. The total number of background checks done at the state and local level on Black Friday could actually be much larger.

  • Edeco

    After decades of smarmy, shrill rhetoric about our thing, the gun camp are incurable smart-asses about it. I say that with love, “recalcitrant” or “oppositional-defiant” is too negative. That’s my explanation.

  • Rick5555

    It’s spelled “per se” not “per say”

  • Sulaco

    When I was working the gun desk I was told repeatedly by new buyers that they wanted to get a gun before the government took that right away. I could not help myself in asking, “Well, you have to fill out the paperwork identifying you and the gun. What makes you think If they do decide that they won’t just send you a letter telling you to turn the gun (identified by make/model/serial number) in to police or face jail”. I always got blank looks back on that one…

    • Edeco

      Oh my goodness, I’d give a blank look as well. I mean, I can explain why I’d rather have the item in hand and the paperwork would be of limited use for confiscation, but if a clerk asked me that…

    • Edeco

      Oh my goodness, I’d give a blank look as well. I mean, I can explain
      why I’d rather have the item in hand and the paperwork would be of
      limited use for confiscation, but if a clerk asked me that…

  • supergun

    With thousands of Americans purchasing weapons each week, it would seem that the democrats would honor what the people want instead of their socialist desires and agendas.