Black Friday gun discounts draw crowds

Black Friday gun sales — up to half off in some cases — drew crowds, despite media predictions of a tapering off in the wake of the presidential election.

Rick Friedman, co-owner of RTSP, a New Jersey gun shop and firing range, told CNN Money despite initially stocking up for a Hillary Clinton election win buying-frenzy, he isn’t scoffing at Donald Trump’s victory — or the Black Friday sales rush in his shop.

“We were gearing up for a much different result,” he said. “[But] if you’re in this industry you’re obviously very happy about the result.”

Ryan Reyes, manager of LI Outdoorsman in Long Island, agreed, attributing the flurry of purchases to sales — not politics — for the first time in months.

“It’s just crazy in here with all the discounts,” he said in an interview with CNN. “We’ve been getting calls all week about the discounts, and it was a slow week.”

The Black Friday boon follows weeks of media scrutiny over plummeting gun stocks and a potentially hampered holiday selling season — historically the gun industry’s most profitable.

As recently as last week, Reuters reported gun sales won’t be setting any records on Black Friday because drummed-up frenzy over lingering gun control no longer exists like it did before the election.

Whether this year’s Black Friday sales will break the 2015 record remains to be seen. Still, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in a Nov. 17 blog post warned the doom and gloom reporting over slumping sales was just “the latest grist” for the gun control “propaganda mill.”

The FBI will release updated background check data — a recognized proxy for gun sales nationwide — for the month November later this week.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 2.3 million checks in October, putting the system just 935,737 behind last year’s record of 23.1 million.

It’s the biggest October on record since the federal background check system rolled out in 1998 and, as the firearms industry heads into its busiest selling season, NICS could secure its biggest year ever by the end of this month.