Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
- Black Friday background checks exceeded records set in 2008 and 2011
- Fueling surge: Concerns over possible new gun laws and increase in female owners
- Neither Obama nor GOP rival Romney proposed gun legislation during campaign.
WASHINGTON - For the second consecutive year, prospective gun buyers joined Black Friday shoppers in record numbers as firearms dealers swamped the FBI with required buyer background check requests.
The FBI fielded 154,873 calls, a roughly 20% increase from last year's previous one-day record of 129,166, according to bureau records.
The requests came in such volume throughout the day that FBI call centers experienced two brief outages - one of 18 minutes and one for 14 minutes -during the busy day, bureau spokesman Stephen Fischer said Monday.
The FBI does not track actual gun sales. But the number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.
Dealers attributed the continuing gun surge to a variety of factors, including an increase in women buyers and concerns that lawmakers in President Obama's second term could impose stricter gun laws. Among them: a possible attempt to renew a ban on assault weapons. Even so, neither Obama nor Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney offered such proposals during the just-completed campaign.
"With the recent election, some people are making buying decisions just in case something (new law) happens,'' said Don Gallardo, manager of Shooter's World in Phoenix. Gallardo said his store recorded a 10% increase in Black Friday sales. Gallardo said buyers cited similar reasons right after Obama won his first term in 2008.