Fears that lawmakers might soon enact tougher gun-control laws may have triggered a run on guns on Black Friday, according to reports. The FBI says it fielded a record number of background-check requests for gun buyers.
"With the recent election, some people are making buying decisions just in case something [a new law] happens,'' Don Gallardo, manager of Shooter's World in Phoenix, Ariz., told USA Today.
The FBI said it took 154,873 calls on Nov. 23, a marked increase over the agency's previous record number of calls: 129,166 last year. The bureau was so overwhelmed that a few outages occurred at some call centers, WMBF reports.
The FBI does not track actual firearms purchases, and the number of weapons sold could be even higher than the number of background-check calls because customers can purchase multiple guns, USA Today reports.
Shira Goodman, executive director of the Pennsylvania anti-gun violence group CeaseFirePa, agreed that buyers' concern over potential gun restrictions likely were in play this year, CBS Philadelphia reports. But, as Goodman noted to the station, “There was a lot of advertisement about what the re-election of President Obama might mean, although no action has been taken yet, or in his prior term, about limiting access to legal guns."
Meanwhile, gun-rights advocates celebrated the uptick in buyer interest. “Responsible firearms ownership is popular, mainstream and growing,” National Shooting Sports Foundation President and CEO Steve Sanetti said in a post on OpposingViews.com. “Americans in record numbers are choosing to own firearms for target shooting, hunting, collecting and personal and home protection.”
A 2011 Gallup poll indicated that 47 percent of American adults report owning a gun.