Black Friday Sets New Record for Gun Sale Background Checks

gun law, background check, FBI, Arlington Heights Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you ask another person about how he or she normally spends the day after Thanksgiving, you are likely to get one of two answers. For some, the day is spent recuperating from a day-long feast and, often, overconsumption of food and/or alcohol. For others, the following day is one dedicated to consumerism, or maybe just hitting up retail stores for their “unbelievable” Black Friday deals. It would probably be very surprising to hear someone tell you that he or she plans to go buy a gun on the day after Thanksgiving. According to the FBI, however, that is exactly what tens of thousands of Americans attempted to do last week.

New All-Time High

In order to legally purchase a firearm from a retailer, federal law requires a background check of the buyer to be conducted by the seller. Retailers are able to use a telephone or computer system to access the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to determine a prospective customer’s eligibility. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the agency with primary oversight of the background check program, reports that 185,345 applicants were processed on November 27, 2015, the most on any single day since recording began. This year’s numbers represent more than a 5 percent increase over Black Friday of 2014, when 175,754 checks were completed by retailers around the country.

Mass Shootings: Cause or Effect?

The markedly high number of firearm sales is interesting in light of the fact that many government officials and advocacy groups point to the easy access to guns as a contributing factor in the numerous mass shootings that have occurred in recent years. In fact, the new record for applicants was set on the very same day as a well-publicized shooting in Colorado Springs, which claimed the lives of three people. The previous all-time high—177,170 applicants—occurred in December of 2012, exactly one week after the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Since 2012, Black Friday has been a consistently strong day for FBI background checks, with each of the last four ranking among the top ten days in the program’s history.

Legal Concerns

The consequences of illegally purchasing or possessing a firearm in Illinois can be quite severe, and the impact to your life can be permanent. If you are facing any type of weapons-related charges, contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney. We will review your case, investigate the circumstances of your arrest and the evidence against you, and assist you in protecting your rights. Call 847-253-3100 today to schedule your free initial consultation.



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