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FBI ran 192,749 gun background checks on Black Friday, most since 2019

Rob Pizzi Jr., owner of Central Connecticut Arms, talks with customer Frank Santoro. (Sofie Brandt/The Hartford Courant/TNS)
November 29, 2022

Booming gun sales appear to have stayed strong this Black Friday, with more background checks processed than any Black Friday since 2019, according to new data from National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

With 192,749 background checks, this year’s Black Friday ranks third among Black Fridays dating back to at least 2000 and marks a 2.8 percent increase from last year, according to NSSF. The week leading to Black Friday saw a total of 711,372 background checks completed.

NSSF counts the number of federal background checks run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. While a background check isn’t the same as a sale, the data provides the basis for an estimate of sales.

“Background checks for firearm purchases were already trending to make 2022 the third strongest year on record, coming off of the outsized years of 2020 and 2021,” said 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.”

Other data recently released by NSSF showcased the overall boom in gun sales that led to this year’s busy Black Friday.

October 2022 was the 39th straight month where more than a million guns are estimated to have been sold, according to the previous data. Monthly gun sales have exceeded 1 million since August 2019, but since 2020, sales have at times topped 2 million.

Annual sales have stayed above 13 million since 2012, which was also the first year to see more than 2 million guns sold in one month – December. 

Last year, the Pew Research Center found 40 percent of U.S. adults saying there is a gun in their household. Personal protection topped the list of reasons for gun ownership in a 2019 Gallup poll.