Defying Expectations, Gun Sales Up After Trump Win

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Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the White House, and the National Rifle Association’s champion Donald Trump is almost certain to leave firearm regulations alone. Still, the U.S. appetite for guns is more voracious than ever, The Guardian reports. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) processed more background checks for gun transactions on Black Friday than on any single day since the system launched nearly two decades ago, an agency spokesperson told the Trace. The 185,713 total barely broke the record set on last year’s Black Friday, when the FBI processed 185,345 checks. Four of the top 10 busiest days for NICS were Black Fridays. The new record-breaking day for background checks defied expectations. For more than a year before the election, gun sales were buoyed by several mass shootings and the threat of a Clinton presidency.

After the perceived threat to gun rights posed by Clinton evaporated, shares of the two publicly traded gun companies – Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co – fell by 16 percent  and 18 percent, respectively. There are reports that unconventional buyers have buoyed gun sales after Trump’s victory. NBC News found some gun store owners saw a surge in African-American customers after the election, fearing for their own protection out of a belief that Trump’s victory will embolden racists to attack minorities. There may be a more prosaic reason for the surging background checks: gun stores were trying to move excess inventory they had stocked in anticipation of a Clinton win.

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