It is worth noting that there is no correlation between checks and weapon quantities, as a multiple-weapon order might be behind a single background check request. The two previous records - last year's and that of 185,345 in 2015 - were also recorded on Black Friday.
In all, the Federal Bureau of Investigation fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 past year and 185,345 in 2015.
The review was ordered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions following revelations that a gun rampage at a Texas church which left 26 people dead was committed by a former U.S. airman who had been legally stripped of his right to own weapons.
Gun checks, required for purchases at federally licensed firearm dealers, are not a measure of actual gun sales. And if the new record for single-day gun background checks set Friday is any indication, those retailers' efforts appear to have worked. In recent years, mass shootings have prompted state and federal lawmakers to propose gun regulations, leading to increased gun sales.
However, USA TODAY noted that while a background check may show an arrest record, it doesn't provide additional details on whether the case was resolved or resulted in a felony conviction, which would've also blocked a gun purchase.
"People should not be able to make their own assault weapons and other guns when those individuals are risky and legally barred from buying guns", Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told USA Today. A background check on the Texas church shooter, for instance, should have prevented him from being able to purchase a firearm due to his court martial. For a record number of Americans, the answer seems to be to buy a firearm. But it does suggest that firearms could have been the exception to what appeared to be generally sluggish Black Friday sales in brick-and-mortar stores.
The number of background checks for firearms purchases does not represent the number of firearms sold since more than one firearm can be bought during a single sale or someone can decide not to buy.