TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The FBI processed a record number of background checks on Black Friday Nov. 24, 2017.
It received 203,086 requests, 17,000 more than in 2016 which was also a record. It was higher than expected.
According to Todd Rathner, a board member of the NRA, it is too early to say whether the bump in checks is because more people bought long rifles, which are generally used for hunting or whether it was handguns, which are used for protection and target shooting.
It was a surprise, because there isn't a normal panic situation where people buy guns because they are afraid of potential gun control measures being passed.
The bump in sales following the Las Vegas massacre on Oct. 1, 2017 and the church shooting in Sutherland, Texas on Nov. 5, has mostly dissipated and is not likely the cause.
Although Rathner would not rule that out, he said they would have to crunch the numbers to determine the type of weapons that were purchased and that may not happen until February or March.
Whether Cyber Monday will follow the same trend is difficult to measure since guns purchased online may not show up in the records for several weeks.
"You can go ahead and buy online but you can't have it delivered to your house," said John Petrush, owner of John's Guns and Ammo in Tucson. "It has to be shipped to another gun dealer in your state."
The purchaser must then fill out the proper paperwork for a background check before taking possession of the gun. The delivery can take from 2 to 11 days as well as any possible delay in going to the dealer to pick it up.
Any data would be imprecise.
Petrush said the increase in sales could be caused by the opening in hunting season or a gift from a parent to a grandparent to a child.
He said he received his first .22 caliber when he was six years old as a Christmas gift.
He says that's not unusual for parents, who want to teach their children gun safety, but also "learning as a family, something they can all do together."
Rathner says he was also surprised because "this is the first Black Friday with a pro-gun President."
2017 has seen a significant d rop in gun sales, especially since the election of President Trump.
"President Obama was the best salesman we ever had," said Petrush.
Rathner says one item he will discuss at a Phoenix gun show this week is whether GOP talk of gun control following Texas shooting may have changed the debate causing some people to buy guns.