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Black Friday gun background checks

Guest Dwight C

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Guest Dwight C

Black Friday gun background checks down 10 percent after 2017 broke records

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The number of background checks run by the FBI for firearm purchases this Black Friday saw a 10 percent drop after last year's shopping day set a new single-day record. 

The bureau told USA TODAY it ran 182,093 background checks for firearms, the lowest number since 2014. Last year, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 in 2016 and 185,345 in 2015. 

The checks, run through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, are not a measure of actual gun sales. The number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.

The background checks are required at all federally licensed firearm stores. 

Black Friday has consistently been one of the largest days for gun sales and the FBI's background check systems. Other large days for checks have occurred after high-profile shootings. 

This year's numbers would make it the fourth highest day for background checks, slightly higher than the number of checks done in the days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012. 

The FBI told USA TODAY its peak hour for background checks this year was between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. where there were about 4.76 transactions per second and more than 17,000 requests poured in.

The massive surge in gun checks last year came directly after a number of mass shootings. In October, 58 people were killed in Las Vegas during the Route 91 concert festival, and in November, 25 died after being shot inside a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church.

This year, the mass shootings continued but the number of gun sales appears to have possibly dipped. The mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February started a new nationwide movement dedicated to ending mass shootings and calling for changes to gun laws. 

Survivors of the shooting planned the March for Our Lives events, including a massive march in Washington, D.C., dedicated to pushing for stricter gun laws. 

Since the February shooting, mass attacks have happened in a Texas high school, a Pittsburgh synagogue and a California college bar.

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