AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania © Joshua Roberts / Reuters
Buying a gun in the United States could hardly be described as difficult, and bargain hunting weapons enthusiasts were out in force on Black Friday with the FBI receiving over 200,000 requests for background checks in a single day.
That figure smashes the previous two years, both also record showings for checks in a single day, as trigger-happy Americans flocked to pick up their bargain basement weapon of choice, USA Today reports.
The 203,086 requests is more than the previous two record years. 2016’s commercialist orgy saw 185,713 requests, while the previous year the figure stood at 185,345. However, the amount of guns purchased is thought to be higher as one background check doesn’t equate to just one gun, as the customer may purchase a number of weapons in a single go.
Earlier this week, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which receives requests for background checks, review the system that allowed court-martialed Air Force veteran Devin Patrick Kelley to purchase a rifle that he used to murder 26 people at a Texas church. His victims ranged from 18 months to 77 years of age, and almost half were children.
Kelley had previously escaped from the Peak Behavioral Health Service in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, and authorities had said that the gunman “was a danger to himself and others as he had already been caught sneaking firearms” onto the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, where he had been stationed.
Kelley was facing a court martial by the US Air Force at the time, on charges of assaulting his wife and stepson. He was also “attempting to carry out death threats that [he] had made on his military chain of command,” according to the police report.
Following the murders, the US Air Force admitted that it failed to enter Kelley’s court-martial conviction for domestic violence into a database that could have blocked him from purchasing the rifle he used in the attack.