Black Friday was a record-breaking day for gun background checks in America.
The FBI processed 185,713 background checks for buyers through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS.) That was nearly 400 more transactions than the bureau processed on Black Friday 2015, the bureau’s Stephen Fischer Jr. told Business Insider.
Black Friday is usually the biggest day of the year for gun sales, as buyers take advantage of deep discounts.
Gun ownership remains a politically charged issue. Demand and sales are typically expected to surge when Washington is seen to take a harder approach to regulations and ease of access.
Gunmaker Sturm, Ruger & Co. said in its third-quarter earnings statement that demand for guns was stronger than usual during the summer, likely driven by election-related rhetoric.
President-elect Donald Trump’s gun-control proposals included better mental-health treatment programs, while ensuring that laws did not infringe on Second Amendment rights that allow for ownership. However, his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton supported an assault-weapons ban and an expansion of background checks.
Gun stocks plummeted after Trump’s victory as investors realised that customers would no longer rush to buy out of fear that Clinton would make ownership harder. Since November 9, the day after the election, Sturm Ruger is down 18%, while rival Smith & Wesson is down 17%. Both stocks were little changed on Monday.