Americans are having a happy, pro-gun holiday season. The FBI said this week it had processed a record number of firearms background checks on Black Friday, indicating more Americans were purchasing guns for the holiday shopping season.
The FBI processed 185,345 background checks — roughly two per second — as Americans took to local malls to buy their loved ones Christmas gifts. That was up five percent from Black Friday 2014, the Associated Press reported. The weapons purchasing spree came as a man fatally shot three people and wounded nine others in an attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado the same day.
Under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, the background checks cover gun purchases from federally licensed dealers and for permits to carry guns. A background check does not technically mean a gun was purchased, but they are considered by the weapons industry as a measure of gun sales.
Americans tend to purchase guns after mass shootings. The previous record for the most background checks in a single day was Dec. 21, 2012, days after 20 children and six adults were fatally shot in a Connecticut elementary school. At the time, more than 953,613 gun background checks were processed by federal officials.
President Barack Obama has repeatedly called for stricter guns limits after mass shootings across the nation. “Enough is enough,” Obama said in a statement on Saturday after the Planned Parenthood shootings. He urged the nation “to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war” for “people who have no business wielding them.”
He said he needed Congress’ help to stop gun violence. “I will continue to present those things that I can do administratively,” Obama said, “but at the end of the day, Congress, states, local governments are going to have to act in order to make sure that we’re preventing people who are deranged or have violent tendencies from getting weapons that can magnify the damage that they do.”
In Colorado, Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is accused of killing a local police officer and two others during an attack against Planned Parenthood.
By some estimates, 79 million U.S. households have guns. Other surveys have found there are between 270 and 310 million guns in the United States.