2019 gun sales on record-setting pace as background checks flood into FBI

On Black Friday alone, the FBI ran 202,465 checks.

Digital Content Producer
December 04, 2019 - 10:02 am
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(KFTK/AP) - Purchases of firearms are on track to reach a record high in the U.S. this year, according to officials.

By the end of November, a total of 25.4 million background checks -- which are required to purchase firearms -- had been conducted by the FBI. That puts the U.S. on pace to break the previous record of 27.5 million, set in 2016. On Black Friday alone the bureau ran 202,465 checks, the FBI reports.

In a twist, industry experts say the uptick in purchases is a direct result of the recent backlash against firearms.

"The Democratic presidential contenders are falling all over themselves to propose more aggressive gun reforms than their opponents," says gun expert Adam Winkler. "Gunmakers are promoting the idea that you should buy these guns now because they may be banned in the future."

In the years since President Donald Trump took office, the industry has struggled through what has been referred to as the Trump Slump, a falloff in sales that reflected little worry among gun owners about gun control efforts.

But with the 2020 presidential election less than a year out and virtually every Democratic candidate offering proposals to restrict access to firearms, fears appear to be driving up sales again.

The industry has been going through one of its toughest periods, with some gunmakers, such as Remington Arms, filing for bankruptcy. More recently, Smith & Wesson’s parent company, American Outdoor Brands, announced plans to spin off its firearms unit, and Colt said it would suspend production of AR-15 rifles.

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