The FBI ran more than three background checks per second ‒ more than 175,000 total ‒ on Black Friday, thanks to the largest ever number of guns purchased on the biggest retail day in the US. It was the second most reviews ever during a single day.
Purchasing guns on Black Friday ‒ the start of the holiday shopping season in the United States ‒ has become an American tradition over the past few years. This year was no different, according to the number of federal background checks run by the FBI. It’s an incomplete, though telling, statistic: the agency has three business days to complete its review of each applicant, who could be purchasing multiple guns, before the weapon is released for sale.
“We’re processing approximately two checks per second. And starting around 11 a.m., we’ll bump that up to three checks per second,” Kimberly Del Greco, an FBI manager with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), told NPR’s Rachel Martin Friday morning.