Black Friday was a huge day for gun sales in America. It typically is the biggest day of the year in terms of sales and this year was no exception, as the available figures indicate it was record-breaking.
The FBI processed 185,713 background checks via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is approximately 400 more than the number processed in 2015 (another record-breaking year), according to information obtained by Business Insider.
“We had a great black Friday this year, and each day then on has been busy with Christmas less than a month away,” said Jamie Torino, a gun store manager who runs The Exchange, in an email to GunsAmerica. “This time of the year is always good for our business.”
Of course, it should be noted that NICS checks do not correlate one-for-one with gun sales. That said, NICS remains a solid bellwether for the health of firearms commerce.
What makes Black Friday such a success is the deep discounts gun shops offer customers. With the holidays around the corner, many prospective gun purchasers and shoppers can’t pass up the great deals offered by their local FFLs.
Along those lines, GunsAmerica ran its annual Black Friday promotion with its network of dealers to great effect. By sending out a customized email blast to potential customers located near brick and mortar gun stores, GunsAmerica helped to drive in more foot traffic. The email blast was flanked by ads strategically placed throughout the GunsAmerica network to garner even more attention for the online specials. All in all, it was a robust effort that maximized outreach to both online and in-store shoppers (on a side note, if you’re a dealer interested in GA promotions, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
“I am still working through all the orders and getting them shipped out,” said Grant Wiscour of TX PAT Armory, LLC in an email to GunsAmerica.
“The promotion from GunsAmerica certainly assisted in increasing sales,” Wiscour continued. “Our customers took advantage of great prices to stock up on quality guns and helped us have our greatest month of sales since our inception.”
Likewise, Steve Jones the owner of Old West Guns & Trading Co. said that although the sales figures were about the same as last year, he had “about 20 percent more people.”
“I had many people say that they received the [GunsAmerica] email or a friend forwarded the email to them,” said Jones in an email to GunsAmerica.
Jessica Keffer of the Sportsman’s Shop said her sales were up 5 percent this year when compared to the same period last year.
“Black Friday was a very successful promotion for us,” said Keffer in an email to GunsAmerica. “As a way to drive traffic to the range, we ran a range promotion discounting range time and rentals by 50% – that was very successful and we had high range occupancy all day.”
“We find GunsAmerica to be a successful tool for us,” she added.
In years past, there have been other motivating factors besides special promotions and deep discounts that bolstered sales on Black Friday, including the threat of gun control from the Obama administration. With an anti-gun commander-in-chief in the White House, many Second Amendment advocates feared the worst and, as a result, opted to buy that black rifle sooner rather than later.
But now that we have a pro-gun Trump administration set to take over, many wondered (myself included) whether that would have a negative impact on firearms sales. Since there’s no apparent threat of gun-control on the national level, would there be the same urgency amongst consumers to go out and get that gun today?
Indications from GunsAmerica gun dealers suggest that Trump’s election hasn’t made that much of an impact.
“The election didn’t really impact us in either direction,” said Jamie, from The Exchange. “It’s back to business as usual now. If the election had gone the other way, it would certainly be a different story. I probably would not have a free moment to email you back!”
Indeed, if Hillary Clinton had been elected things would be drastically different. The former secretary of state promised to take the reins from Obama and push through all sorts of anti-gun legislation: criminalizing private transfers, ending liability protection for gun manufacturers, denying individuals gun rights via the extraconstitutional No-Fly list. No doubt a Hillary administration would have incentivized gun buyers.
“Our Black Friday sales were OK/good, probably not great,” noted Mark Blote of First Stop Guns, Inc. in an email to GunsAmerica. “I think our biz is off a bit with a gun friendly President, but it is certainly worth losing sales to preserve our gun rights!”
So now that the days of fear buying are over, one would assume sales would, as mentioned, take a substantial hit. But they haven’t. And one gun dealer offered some insight into why that might be.
“Since the election there has been something I’ve not seen,” said John Robertson of Robertson’s Trading Post in an email to GunsAmerica. “Good hype. Pro-gun hype. Prices are still down, there’s lots of bargains, and I think lots of the purchases are somewhat celebratory.”
Very insightful. Instead of fear-buying, may be what we’ve witnessed on Black Friday was the opposite — celebratory purchases! Defeating Hillary in what was arguably the biggest political upset in our lifetime was a shockingly huge victory for those of us who value freedom, the Constitution, and the Second Amendment. So, wouldn’t it make sense that we’d celebrate en masse by adding to our collection?