The FBI processed a record number of firearms background checks on Black Friday, the Associated Press reports. The bureau handled 185,345 background checks, about two per second, the same day three people were killed and nine others wounded in an attack at a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado. The agency received about 5 percent fewer background check requests on Black Friday in 2014. FBI background checks processed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System are conducted for gun purchases from federally licensed dealers and for permits to carry guns. A background check does not mean a gun was purchased but manufacturers rely on the background check statistics as a measurement of the industry’s health.
The FBI started processing background checks for potential gun owners in 1998 as part of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. The previous record for the most background checks in a single day was Dec. 21, 2012, about a week after 20 children and six adults were shot to death in a Connecticut elementary school. The week following the massacre saw the processing of 953,613 gun background checks.