January 2013

Downrange: January 2013

Todd Woodward

Black Friday gun sales caused such demand that they caused outages at the FBI background check center. The FBI reported 154,873 background check requests on Friday, November 23 — a 20% increase on last year’s record total of 129,166 checks. The requests came in such volume throughout the day that FBI call centers experienced two brief outages — one of 18 minutes and one for 14 minutes — during the busy day, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said.

Saturday’s total of 88,419 background checks also earned it a spot among the Top Ten most active single days, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The new one-day record was not unexpected, as NSSF pointed out in a recent blog post, given reports of increased sales following the election of President Barack Obama to a second term and hunting license sales increasing.

As you can see in the accompanying chart, four of the top-10 most active single days for background checks through the end of last year were Black Fridays. The most checks ever conducted in a single day occurred November 26, 2011, when more than 129,000 were made by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The second highest Black Friday total was on November 28, 2008, only weeks after President Barack Obama was elected to his first term. That total of 97,848 was a record number of background checks at that time.

Appeals Court Upholds N.Y. Concealed-Carry Law. A federal appeals court has upheld a New York State law limiting concealed-carry gun ownership. In 2010, five New York State residents sued the city of Westchester for barring them from obtaining concealed-carry permits. They argued that the landmark 2008 Supreme Court ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller, made New York State’s concealed-carry permit terms unconstitutional. In that state, a gun owner must show “proper cause,” defined as “a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession” to get a license.

But the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, siding with a lower court, ruled that the Heller decision dealt with carrying handguns only inside the home. GT

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