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Vintage handguns are displayed during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Black Friday Was the Biggest Day Ever for Gun Sales

Dec 01, 2015

Some people head out on Black Friday to buy a big-screen TV, or a new coffee machine.

But tens of thousands of Americans this year sought a very different kind of item on what is expected to be the biggest shopping weekend of 2015: guns.

Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman Stephen Fischer confirmed to Fortune that there were 185,345 background checks on November 27, easily beating the previous all time high of 177,170 on December 21, 2012, which was shortly after the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut.

The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data are widely considered to be the best proxy for gun sales.

With last week's big jump, four out of the 11 biggest days ever for background checks were on a Black Friday. On the same day last year, the FBI conducted 175,754 checks.

Big retailers such as Cabela's and Sportsman's Warehouse were advertising deals for guns heading into Black Friday.

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