Guns were the hot item on Black Friday

Posted by Skylar Browning on Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 4:15 PM

USA Today reports nearly 130,000 Americans purchased firearms on Black Friday, a new record. The paper tracked the sales through an unprecedented amount of background checks that flooded the FBI. In all, the Black Friday sales surpassed the previous all-time high by 32%, according to bureau records. The FBI performed 129,166 background checks this year compared to 97,848 in 2008. The story adds:

The actual number of firearms sold last Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in a transaction by a single buyer. And the FBI does not track actual gun sales.

So, what gives? Why so many gun purchases this year?

A spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation told USA Today it may have something to do with a surge in first-time buyers, including many women. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence suggested it's no big deal and told the paper gun shops may simply be catching on to the draw of Black Friday deals.

Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association adds his own two cents to the speculation. In a conversation this morning about the Black Friday numbers, he points out that gun sales have hit record after record since Barack Obama was elected president.

"Every month the numbers are up," he says, noting the long-held concern of Obama's administration chipping away at the right to bear arms. "There's a fear, and there has been a fear, that things will change."

Marbut also echos the reasons offered by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Since he started a firearm safety and training class in 1995 he's graduated 3,500 students, more than half of which are women, he says. Demand for the class has increased over the last three years.

"A lot of us in the gun community are impressed with these soaring numbers," he says. "There doesn't seem to be an end to it."

Comments (5)

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Obviously the argument regarding the benefits or disadvantages of gun ownership will go on for eons. As the saying goes; "For those who believe any proof is sufficient, for those that don't no amount of evidence will suffice." Fact is anyone that looks at objective data from around the world can clearly see that crime goes down in areas where right to carry laws are enacted and gun restrictions are lightened. As a law enforcement type, I have talked to literally thousands of felons and to a person they all said they were more detered by armed civilians than they were of police.

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Posted by Dardomorbius on 12/07/2011 at 12:27 AM

Just because it sounds good doesn't make it true.

Doc Art says: The Brady Law, other mandated waiting periods, safe-storage laws and one-gun-a-month laws all increase crime, especially rape.

Reality: Forcible rapes reported in the U.S. in 1992, the year before Brady, was 109,062. In 2010 84,767 rapes were reported. (Crime in the United States - FBI)

While violent crime went from 1.9 million in 1992 to 1.2 million in 2010. (Crime in the United States - FBI)

I don't think we can say what caused the drop, probably a multitude of factors, but we know Brady didn't cause an increase.

After looking at one part of his comments and finding it wrong I would view the rest with a skeptical eye.

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Posted by Jose on 12/06/2011 at 12:16 PM


• Gun ownership also saves money. Nationwide, each one percent increase in the number of people owning guns reduces crime victim costs by over $3 billion.

• Concealed handgun carry by private citizens reduces violent crimes, including rape, murder, aggravated assault and robbery, throughout the entire community and in surrounding communities.

• When a state passes a right-to-carry law, crime reduction is immediate and substantial, and crime-reduction benefits continue to grow the longer the law is in effect.

• The greater the number of concealed handgun permits issued, the greater the reduction in crime.

• Mass shootings in public places are reduced to virtually zero within four or five years after right-to-carry laws are passed – except in designated “gun- free” zones, such as schools, where self-defense is known to be prohibited.

• The largest drops in violent crime from concealed handgun carry occur in the most urban areas with the greatest populations and the highest crime rates.

• Citizens who do not carry guns benefit equally from the crime reduction which results when other citizens carry guns. The people who benefit most from this “halo” effect are women, children, the elderly and blacks.

• Of all the methods studied by economists, the carrying of concealed handguns is by far the most cost-effective method for reducing crime. Each and every concealed handgun permit issued reduces total economic losses to crime victims by $3,000 – $5,000.

• The Brady Law, other mandated waiting periods, safe-storage laws and one-gun-a-month laws all increase crime, especially rape.
• Background checks, training requirements and age restrictions have no crime-reduction benefits.

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Posted by Doc Art on 12/06/2011 at 11:46 AM

The only reason a government does not want the people to have firearms, is to coerce, threaten, intimidate, or enslave them. History is rife with accounts of mass murder by government, once its citizens were disarmed...Thus, our Second Amendment - In addition to our God-given right to self-protection, it is also to prevent tyranny and oppression on a population. I think gun sales are up, because people are finally waking up !!

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Posted by Mike Howell on 12/06/2011 at 11:36 AM

It's pretty simple, really. The two primary reasons are political (as stated in the article) and economic. Few trust the government not to spring unpleasant surprises on We the People anymore and it doesn't take a genius to see how that happens. Secondly, guns are terrific investments and a great place to protect capital - especially if the gov makes threatening noises about gun ownership.

You don't have to love guns or hate the government to see why sales are up.

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Posted by redial on 12/06/2011 at 11:11 AM
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