Numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show an all-time one-day high for background check requests from gun buyers last Friday. There were 129,166 requests to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)–a third more than the previous record of 97,848 on Black Friday 2008, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said. On Black Friday last year, there were 87,061 requests.
The numbers, first reported in USA Today, reflect the experience of gun-sellers on the ground. “It was the biggest rush we ever had. Some of the people at the gate sent their kid running to the gun counter to get in line,” said Tom Ritzer, store manager at MC Sports in Springfield, Mo., which opened its doors at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. Gun buyers had to wait until NICS opened at 7 before they could leave with their purchases, he said.
The store sold 70 guns, a mix of rifles and handguns, with big sellers including an $85 World War I replica rifle that is a collector’s item and a$219 Smith &Wesson .22 handgun. Last year the store, which only started carrying guns in 2009, sold 41 on Black Friday.