While you were getting ready to storm the stores for discounted Xbox One Xs and Supreme on Black Friday others were looking for discounted guns.
On Saturday, the FBI reported that they received a whopping 203,086 background check requests for gun purchases on Black Friday.
That’s a new record, which has been broken every year for the past two years. Close to a 10 percent increase for both 2016 (185,713) and 2015 (185,345).
But wait, there’s a twist!
This is not a measure of actual gun sales. According to USA Today, the number of firearms sold on Black Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.
We should be wary. The surge comes in lieu of an order from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do a sweeping review of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Why the sweep? For 20 years the NICS has served as the centerpiece of the government’s effort to block criminals from obtaining firearms, but they’ve failed on numerous occasions.
According to Stephen Morris, a former assistant FBI director, told USA TODAY after the Texas shooting, “that the NICS system has long been plagued by incomplete or outdated information.”
Just take a look at the recent case of the Texan church shooter Devin Kelley. Even though he was a court-martialed Air Force veteran Kelley was still able to cop guns regardless of his criminal background.
The Air Force did not provide the FBI with the details of the court-martial, which would have blocked the 2016 sale of the murder weapon to Devin Kelley.
So, how many out of the 203,086 people that registered for guns on Black Friday or the 27.5 million background checks conducted in 2016 fall into the same category?
We are still waiting to find out. Hopefully, Sessions’ FBI sweep of the NICS database will answer some questions.
Besides worrying about an archaic NICS database there also seems to be a bigger issue at hand. An issue regarding gun manufacturers who are more concerned about making a dollar than public safety.
Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said in an interview with USA Today that,
“Companies that are more worried about making money than the safety of the public or law enforcement officials sworn to protect them shouldn’t be given a platform to sell their products… It’s time to turn off the lights on these sites so these companies won’t be able to enable illegal gun trafficking or the next mass shooting.”
Come on America, why do we have to shoot? Bullets only maim.