Freedom for Christmas: FBI background checks show it was the largest Black Friday ever for gun sales

Originally written for NSSF. Republished with permission.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, revealed that the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) completed 680,671 background checks related to firearms for the week leading up to, and including, “Black Friday,” one of the busiest shopping days of the year. That figure is down slightly from 2022’s total of 711,372 for the same time period. The 2023 total is a 4.3 percent decrease from the 2022 figure.


 

FBI NICS completed 214,913 background checks on “Black Friday” alone. That is the highest figure recorded for a “Black Friday.” The figure approximates firearm sales at retail on that day, although it also includes background checks for other purposes related to firearms such as approvals for concealed carry permits. NSSF will later this week release its Adjusted NICS figures for November reflecting only those background checks related to the sale of a firearm at retail.

NSSF has worked with firearm retailers to spread out special sales offers to customers throughout the week leading up to “Black Friday” so as not to overwhelm FBI NICS on a single day, which can result in longer than normal wait times.

“The background checks reported by the FBI are in keeping with the trends NSSF has seen throughout the year. Firearm sales remain consistently strong, with over a million per month for more than four years running,” explained Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “These figures tell us that there is a continued strong appetite for lawful firearm ownership by law-abiding Americans and that firearm manufacturers across the country continue to deliver the quality firearms our customers have come to expect.”

Annual background check data shows that firearm sales will typically rise during the final months of the year coinciding with hunting seasons and holiday sales.

Below are the breakout tables for each day of unadjusted FBI NICS background checks.

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023: 95,354

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023: 52,521

Monday, Nov. 20, 2023: 79,970

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023: 101,199

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023: 110,703

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023: 26,011

Friday, Nov. 24, 2023: 214,913

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