December 2nd, 2011

Black Friday 2011 — Americans Set 1-Day Gun Sales Record

Smart phones and flat-screen TVs weren’t the only things flying off retailers’ shelves during the recent “Black Friday” sales fest. Americans bought firearms in record numbers on Black Friday 2011. The FBI recorded 129,166 firearm background requests on November 25, 2011, an all-time, single-day high. That’s 32% higher than any day on record, exceeding the previous one-day high of 97,848 background checks on Black Friday of 2008. (Note: The actual number of firearms purchased, in all likelihood, exceeds the number of background checks, because one buyer can purchase multiple guns with a single background check.)

NICS FBI 2011 Black Friday Sales

No one really knows why gun sales went through the roof this shopping season. Many large vendors, such as Cabela’s, offered deep discounts. Also hit cable television shows such as Top Shot and Sons of Guns have popularized shooting, emphasizing the “cool factor” of gun ownership. These TV series stirred interest in firearms among many Americans who, just a few years ago, had limited awareness of hunting and the shooting sports.

Emily Caruso, USA Shooting National TeamWomen and First-Time Buyers Drive Sales
Statistics suggest that newcomers to shooting (and first-time buyers) are driving the increase in sales. USA Today reports: “Some gun industry analysts attributed the unusual surge to a convergence of factors, including an increasing number of first-time buyers seeking firearms for protection and women who are being drawn to sport shooting and hunting.”

According to the NSSF’s Larry Keane, “I think there also is a burgeoning awakening of the American public that they do have a constitutional right to own guns.” Keene noted that 25% of sales are going to first-time buyers, many of whom are women. This is a good thing for the shooting sports. As more females acquire firearms for both personal defense and for recreational use, we can expect the ranks of female competitive shooters to grow.

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