Black Friday: Record gun sales in US reiterate need for reforms

Gun sales in the US on Black Friday set a new record for the day, as the FBI carried out 175,000 background checks for the single day, a media report said on Tuesday. What is worrying authorities is the increasing incidents of gun-toting toddlers and campus-daring killers.

It was the Black Friday with the most background checks in history, since the 175,000 processed are three times more than the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s daily average, CNN reported citing figures from the agency.

Black Friday, the day for big discounts on Christmas shopping, tends to be a day in the year when more firearms are purchased, a transaction that normally requires a background check of the buyer.

Spikes in gun sales in recent years have largely been the result of a fear that stringent gun controls might be imposed following the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six teachers were gunned down.

That shooting and the one at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, several months before, where 12 people were killed, reopened the debate on gun control in the US.

US President Barack Obama, because of those mass killings, urged gun legislation reform, but Congress refused to pass even the most generally accepted article: an improvement in the system of background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people with mental problems.

Last June, after a shooting at a high school in Oregon, Obama said his “greatest frustration” has been the failure to strengthen gun control laws nationwide.

Voters in Washington state approved a measure for better gun control Nov 4 this year, two weeks after a shooting in Marysville left four teenagers dead, after which the attacker committed suicide.


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