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Gun sales shoot up on Black Friday

A surge in requests for FBI background checks indicate a record number of firearms was purchased the day after Thanksgiving.

By Giselle Smith Dec 2, 2011 3:45PM

What great deals did you snag on Black Friday? Did you buy a PlayStation, a plasma TV, an e-reader … or maybe a gun?

The FBI reported being flooded with background check requests for prospective buyers on Nov. 25, topping the previous single-day high by 32%, USA Today reported.  Post continues below.

Federal law requires background checks for all prospective gun buyers, but the 129,166 requests received by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System on Black Friday may be less than the number of guns sold because multiple firearms can be included in a single transaction. The previous record for requests in a single day -- 97,848 -- was set on Black Friday in 2008.

"More citizens lawfully exercising their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm, coupled with a growing awareness … helps to explain the continuing rise in sales of firearms and firearm-related products throughout the United States," said Larry Keane, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "Clearly, Black Friday was a big day for both the firearms industry and our nation's law-abiding gun owners."

About 25% of the requests were probably for first-time buyers, many of them women, Keane told USA Today.

Gun safety advocates played down the reports

The Black Friday sales figures "might say something about marketing" but don't reflect actual gun ownership trends in the U.S., Caroline Brewer, a spokeswoman for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told ABC News, citing a University of Chicago General Social Survey that showed 32% of Americans owned guns in 2010, down from 54% in 1977.


"The trend that has been observed for decades now is that fewer and fewer Americans own guns, but those who do own continue to add to their stock," she said. "It may mean more gun owners are buying more guns." connected the surge in gun sales to an overall increase in sales for disaster-preparedness goods, such as that experienced by a small chain of stores selling survival food and gear in a suburb of St. Louis, Mo.

"I've had people in here that are very wealthy and they've spent thousands of dollars just on backpacks that they fill with survival gear, one for each person of their family," Steve Dorsey, manager of Uncle Sam's Safari Outfitters, told CBS St. Louis. Dorsey said such customers share concerns about political uprisings, the world economy and the future of the United States.

Armed and polite?

Many online readers reacted with enthusiasm to the news, some quoting Robert A. Heinlein: "An armed society is a polite society."

"I only went to one Black Friday sale. It was at one of our great local gun shops. I bought Christmas presents for a lot of my family members and friends … it's going to be a well-armed Christmas around my house," posted "Dave Boyd Jr." on USA Today, listing guns and ammunition gifts for no fewer than eight people. ("Christmas at your house is AWESOME!" responded reader "Jason Waggoner.")

"We own one ... I think the U.S. needs tighter gun laws to keep them out of the hands of criminals, but I see nothing wrong, in general, with law-abiding citizens owning one," posted a reader on the women's entertainment-and-lifestyle website The Frisky.

"If most of the guns sold are made in this country I think it's a good thing. I would rather spend $400 on a gun to teach my kids how to shoot than to buy them an iPad or an XBOX," reader "John Mathewson" posted on USA Today.

Are you hoping Santa leaves guns and ammo in your stocking this year?

More on MSN Money:

Dec 2, 2011 4:42PM

Gun control is a joke. If we took all of the guns from law abiding citizens, the only people with guns would be the criminals. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Dec 2, 2011 5:00PM
An armed (and proficient) society is a free society.  Look at the countries in the eastern hemisphere and how they clamor for and recently obtained some freedom from tyranny.  And that freedom they won came because of arms.  Don't be fooled...gun control ain't about's about control.  Control always has and always will = tyranny and oppression.
Dec 2, 2011 4:56PM
It's interesting that the observation was made about needing tighter gun control laws. The last things we need are more gun control laws. Enforce the ones we have and new ones aren't necessary. New gun control laws are for one purpose only - so some politician looking for re-election can point to his voting record and say, "Look, I'm helping to fight crime." They don't fight crime - if gun control helped fight crime, none of our criminals would be armed. Get real and get it right.
Dec 2, 2011 5:28PM

PLEASE don't describe the Brady group as a "gun safety" organization - they are a gun control and gun-ban advocacy group whose central tenet is that the only way to make guns safe is to ban them. Calling them a "safety" group is like characterizing PETA as vegetarians.


Might also note that the survey the Brady center cited is one of th few that says gun owner's percentage of the population has dropped. Might also point out that the population has increased almost 50% since 1977 (from 220 to over 300 million.) 

Dec 2, 2011 8:02PM

Better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.


Dec 2, 2011 5:41PM
I purchased a Kimber 1911 and Glock 17 for myself, a Smith and Wesson .38 snub-nose for my Mom!! If you don't like guns or the second amendment, then go live somewhere else ****s!!
Dec 2, 2011 7:34PM

The US Constitution says it's ok for me to have a firearm.  Ok, I bought one.


I have a wife and four daughters.  I pray that if the time ever comes to defend the life of my women, I won't hesitate to shoot to kill.

Dec 2, 2011 6:11PM
Those using an article like this to carry on about gun control are choosing to avoid reality to support some fantasy that more gun laws will somehow reduce crime or gun deaths. Neither is true. One of the heaviest armed countries in the world, no, not us, Switzerland, has a very low incidence of death by firearm of any kind. One of the very lowest, Russia, where all forms of private firearm ownership is illegal has one of the highest. Some countries have gone out of their way to pass draconian firearms regulations, like Jamaica. They have not only made all weapons illegal, they have rounded up, bought and confiscated everything they could find. In a special kind of irony, their crime rate has never been higher and those in Jamaica who do not own a weapon today are only those that choose not to own gun of some type. Firearm deaths have risen dramatically in both the UK and Australia as a result of gun bans enacted in the last 2 decades. I try and understand the mind of the gun banners for the source of their rationale and the best I have is that they think that a firearm imparts uncontrolled violent misanthropic emotions (kill! I must kill something!) which may have come from too many Hollywood action movies. What else could it be? I don't know.
Fast and Furious was an attempt to create a crisis requiring new gun laws (If those Mexican Drug Lords won't come and buy their stash of heat in an El Paso retail store, by gum we'll ship them by the busload over the border ourselves - we need a crisis here)
Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Guns give claws to the weak.
Happy Cyber Monday. Congratulations on the addition to the family.......

Dec 2, 2011 6:51PM
I thoroughly agree with "trooper" below. If ya don't like guns or the second amentment, then get the hell out of this country. We in America have the RIGHT to own and carry guns. I just sold a couple guns I never used and bought a Glock M22 GEN4, along with a carbon fiber holster. Great gun!! We in Tucson have a couple of indoor ranges, and I shoot there all the time. One word of unsolicited advice: If you're going to own a gun, then learn to use it and shoot it FREQUENTLY!! There are many seriously bad people out there who will get guns any way they can, and YOU might be their next target. A weapon is not a piece of jewelry. It has a definite purpose. So the message is, BECOME PROFICIENT IN ITS USE.
Dec 2, 2011 6:05PM
Gun ownership has dropped by half accord to the Brady Bunch.
Small wonder that the leftys have zero credibility.
The leftys know they can never take the country socialist as long as the citizenry is armed, they will never quit trying.
The will make any asinine statement and present some of the most ridiculous statements as fact.
According to the state police in my state, who track cca licenses. gun ownership is up 74% since the cca became available.

Dec 2, 2011 6:52PM
The Brady Bill using gun control it just helps the bad guys, it keeps the good people from getting guns...I look at it this way, it was in James Brady's job description to take a bullet from hitting the President it may seem harsh but you go in taking this job knowing that you are suppose to jump in front of a gunman legal gun or illegal gun pointing at was just a dumb Bill to disarm America.
Dec 4, 2011 6:15PM
There are now many, many documented decreases in certain violent crimes in places where the general population was allowed to carry concealed firearms.  I carry a handgun.  The only time anyone will ever know of this is if/when they intend to do me or my family great bodily harm.  I will then introduce them to my little friend and not feel the least bit bad about it. 
Dec 3, 2011 12:03PM
People will need guns and lots of ammo after the Feds take control of all the people's savings
Dec 2, 2011 7:50PM
Me thinks there may be a nervous segment of the population. Generally spikes likes this have some sort of trigger event. Most cases that would be talk of gun control. In this case I think that it may have been televised gatherings that put a few on edge. BF was just an opportunity day to fulfill that urge. Do you think it was for great gun deals, because something sent a chill up their spine, or a lil of both. Me personally I would like to know so that a mutual respect level can be established, and we can live side by side with friendly smiles. 
Now for the plug, Mossberg & Sons has a wonder selection of home defense products, and their 500 series 12g (pistol grip) combined with a muzzle break and low recoil shot (i.e. Federal) makes for a very versatile piece of tactical home defense. When the zombie horde comes to your door, your 12 gauge better be a Mossberg...or you could lose your brain. 
well, i wonder how many people are denied guns after the background check is done? 

i bet very few felons actually bother going through the process and only because they are morons.
Dec 5, 2011 10:38AM
The search trend for "gun shop" has been steadily rising since 2008.  There may be a connection to the financial crisis / high level of unemployment, etc... I don't think it's merely a higher interest from women in hunting.  Why would they start in 2008 particularly?
see the trend at our site... keyword "gun"
Dec 2, 2011 6:55PM
Using a gun to defend the public is the job of law enforcement and they think it is their job? Oh really, how many cops do you think will be around when someone decides to shoot your --s?

I do agree that if you are going to carry a gun you had better be prepared to use it. Imagine a bunch of people getting shot in a mall or something and then finding out you stood there with your licensed gun in your back pocket too afraid emotionally or of legal repercussions to use it. I'm sure that will be a pleasant thought to them as they are bleeding out, and hey, this has already happened people.

This country is going to hell in a hand basket. Pretty soon it's going to look like the Wild West again with people openly carrying their firearms. People are just getting too aggressive and nasty and that's one way to put some politeness back into the situation. As far as needing to "run and gun" to defend my home if anarchy occurs, well, with the guns I have I won't be needing to run anywhere.
Dec 3, 2011 3:01PM
Just what we need, more idiots with guns. Most of them will end up shooting themselves or family members.
Dec 2, 2011 5:29PM

A world full of gun owners who are good and bad people = disaster.


Think about it

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