Gun sales have hit an all-time high on Black Friday in 2016 according to the number of FBI background checks. This breaks the previous record which was set the previous year. Licensed firearm dealers had to file 185,713 background checks on Black Friday, which is 400 more than the year prior. Dealers who are licensed by the federal government must contact the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to make sure that gun buyers don’t have any criminal records or other legal barriers to gun ownership.
Political events have the tendency to cause spikes in gun sales, which was recently seen when President Obama was campaigning for stricter gun regulations, or when he hinted at unconstitutionally changing the laws. There was speculation that gun sales would slump after the election of an NRA-endorsed candidate Donald Trump, but reports do indicate a surge in firearm sales in minority communities following the election’s outcome. Americans want their firearms regardless of who is in the White House. The reason could be linked to an increased fear of terrorism, or an increase in deadly violence.
Gun stocks Smith & Wesson and Ruger both dropped after the news broke of Trump’s historic victory. This led many people to believe that we would see a decline in gun sales on Black Friday this year. The gun stocks have actually bounced back substantially since the post election drop.
The “sensible gun law” crowd should be pleased with the new record level of background checks, which ensures that new gun owners have been deemed worthy by the government. There is no doubt that the soaring level of gun sales also has something to do with a general fear that guns will be regulated out of existence.
Donald Trump has been vocal about his support for the second amendment. His website proclaims that “Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.”
The demographics of gun ownership are changing. Today, around one third of Americans now have a firearm in their home. Many gun owners continue to purchase more guns spawning a new era of gun super-ownership. There is a report which states that nearly 3 percent of the population own half of the nation’s guns. While there are more guns in America today than ever before, they are in the hands of fewer people.