Background checks don’t stop criminals from getting firearms, but one thing is certain: the trend in the number of checks shows that Americans are acquiring firearms at an unprecedented rate. The FBI reports that the number of firearm-related background checks hit an all-time, one-day high on Friday, November 27, known in the retail world as “Black Friday.”
There were 185,345 checks conducted for firearm purchases, carry and purchase permits, and miscellaneous firearm-related reasons last Friday. The previous high, 177,170, had been set on Friday, December 21, 2012, two days after President Obama announced that he intended to submit new gun control proposals to Congress and to “use all the powers of this office” to restrict the right to arms.
November 27 was not a one-day aberration. The week of November 23-29 accounted for the fifth greatest weekly number of firearm-related checks since the inception of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on November 30, 1998. Additionally, the FBI reports, November 2015 accounted for more checks than any previous November, and the sixth highest monthly number of checks on record.
Gun control supporters will likely respond by claiming that the new statistics prove that gun ownership is declining, on their theorythat a half dozen Americans are buying all the new guns. Such self-delusion notwithstanding, NICS statistics show that, even setting the surge of 2013 aside, firearm-related checks have increased sharply over the last several years.
Gun control supporters won’t be dissuaded by these statistics, of course. But if the millions of Americans who are buying firearms all vote to defeat Hillary Clinton a year from now, the Electoral College will give gun control supporters a statistic on which they won’t be able to put their usual, deliberately misleading spin.