Just when we thought gun buyers were breathing a sigh of relief and feeling less of a need to stockpile guns…
The FBI performed the most background checks of the last two decades—185,713, to be exact—on Black Friday. The last time this many gun-related background checks were performed was when the FBI first launched its instant check system 20 years ago.
It’s true that gun sales usually rise on Black Friday as holiday shoppers seek out big-ticket gifts in advance; however, neither the FBI nor the firearms industry experts anticipated this latest surge.
According to some news sources, this increase in demand didn’t come from the usual demographics of Second-Amendment enthusiasts. Anecdotal evidence from gun store owners suggests that minorities have been coming out to shop for guns at higher rates ever since the Trump victory.
Personally? If I had to speculate, I’d suggest two possibilities:
1. Future expectations of lower ammo costs
Trump’s presidency will likely mean less restriction on the firearms industry, which, for those who have been around the block a few times, means lower ammo prices. The reality is that guns and ammo are a package deal, and many middle-class firearms buyers won’t buy weapons if they’re too expensive to shoot. Now that they expect ammo prices to fall in 2017, they might be more willing to buy that shiny .50 cal they’ve been eyeing.
2. More general interest in firearms
Look at it this way: had Clinton won, Black Friday probably would have been an even bigger gun day. Over the last several years, more Americans have become interested in purchasing firearms. It makes sense that, even though they might not feel as much urgency to buy, Americans who’ve had guns on their minds would still come out and look for deals on Black Friday.