All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth – and a new Benelli M4. Apparently, I’m not the only one.
USA Today reported that among the best sellers on Black Friday, flat-screens, smartphones, computers and cut-rate designer clothing, were firearms.
According to FBI records, background check requests for prospective buyers last Friday were at a single-day, all-time high.
A record-smashing 129,166 checks were requested. That’s 32% more than the previous high of 97, 848 checks on Black Friday of 2008, Deputy Assistant FBI Director Jerry Pender told USA Today.
Now, one must bear in mind that the criminal background checks do not represent the actual number of guns sold. The actual number of guns sold on Black Friday is likely to be more than 129,166, because multiple firearms can be included in a transaction by a single buyer. Additionally, the FBI does not track actual gun sales.
There have been several theories to explain the upsurge in gun sales this year. Some industry analysts believe that it’s the second wave of the Obama gun boom.
Some contend that more and more people are seeking to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. Consider, for example, all those Wisconsinites who just got their concealed carry rights.
And others suggest women are increasingly becoming interested in sport shooting and hunting as a way to explain the record-breaking numbers.
Larry Keane, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told USA Today that 25% of the purchases typically involve first-time buyers, many of them women.
“I think there also is a burgeoning awakening of the American public that they do have a constitutional right to own guns,” Keane said.
“It’s really pretty amazing,” he added.
Not everyone was pleased or impressed with all those background check requests.
Dennis Henigan, acting president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told USA Today he was “skeptical” of the Black Friday gun surge.
“I think there may be no real significance at all,” Henigan said. “It’s possible that gun companies are just catching on to creating a Black Friday frenzy for themselves.”