Arkansas gun sellers see Black Friday spike

Black Friday gun sales were up across the nation this year.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - As the numbers from this year's Black Friday sales come in, one item continues to be in high demand. Guns. The FBI received more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single-day record.

This year's requests broke records from Black Friday sales in 2015 and 2016. Nathan House at the Arkansas Armory is surprised firearms are in such high demand, but knows consumers won't turn down a deal.

“We start to see our business pick up usually in the fall and winter months, leading up to Christmas. And it stays really busy usually through tax season,” he said.

Compared to last Friday, a typical Friday, the Arkansas Armory sold about seven times more firearms than normal.

"I wouldn't have anticipated that. I would've expected it to go down a lot,” House said.

In 2016, the National Instant Check System processed a record 27.5 million background checks.

“Guns sales tend to go along with the political cycles and with the current cycle being what it is, it tends to put a little less pressure on gun sales overall,” House said.

Sales may be rising, but are current screenings doing enough to make sure guns don't land in the wrongs hands? 

Just four days ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a system review in light of recent shootings around the country.

“We hear from our customers a lot that they're worried about the current conditions of society and that things just seem to be getting crazy. A lot of people, for the first time, are stepping forward to take personal responsibility for their families' safety and realize that it can be a lot of fun too,” he added.

Background checks are required for all purchases at licensed dealers. But they can only estimate the number of guns sold over the weekend because a buyer can get more than one weapon after clearing that single background check.

"All that comes back to the dealer is simply one of three responses. Either proceed and make the sale, delay meaning the FBI and law enforcement needs to check on something else, or denied meaning you're not allowed to make the sale” House said.

The recent Texas church shooting highlighted problems with the National Instant Check System. The military failed to pass along information that would have disqualified the shooter from buying a gun.

Congress is expected to act, as early as this week, to fix that problem with bipartisan legislation.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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