Prospective gun owners filed 203,086 requests to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The FBI says it had 203,086 requests for background checks on Friday, smashing the previous single-day record of 185,713, which was set on Black Friday past year, USA Today reports.
These numbers only reflect the amount of people who applied to purchase a gun, not the number of actual gun sales.
The FBI cautions that "a one-to-one correlation can not be made" between checks and actual sales, since one background check may yield several gun sales. By past year, it had conducted more than 27 million - a record.
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The boost in gun sales comes as firearms makers slash prices because of an inventory glut built up after the industry increased production amid fears the Obama administration would tighten gun control laws.
The surging numbers come as the USA grapples with a rash of deadly mass shootings, the most recent at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where a gunman opened fire on the congregation, killing 25.
The gunman who killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church earlier this month should never have been carrying a gun.
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There have been other cases in which the shooter was legally barred from buying or possessing a gun, but was able to buy the parts and build it themselves.
The increase may be due, in part, to Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordering a review of the system after an Air Force veteran massacred 25 churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas with a rifle he should not have been permitted to purchase if the Air Force reported his criminal convictions.
Last week the Department of Justice ordered a review of the background check system to determine whether law enforcement agencies are properly reporting crimes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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