This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 1, 2014:
Leaving a meeting with Vice-President Joe Biden, NRA official Jim Baker told The Daily Caller that Biden said the government simply couldn’t keep up with tracking, following, and monitoring Americans buying guns:
Regarding the lack of prosecutions for lying on the [gun registration] Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or [the] manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, who checks a wrong box, [or] who answers a question inaccurately.
That was before Black Friday virtually inundated the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NCIS). According to the FBI, on Friday background checks were running at twice the rate from a year ago, and triple the normal daily rate. The FBI already had 600 people answering the phone and running those checks – people who had been asked to work double shifts to handle the increased volume – and was forced to hire another 100 formerly employed by the bureau.
On Friday afternoon, background checks were coming in at the rate of three every second. Said FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer:
We are averaging three checks per second. The challenge is to have staff keep up with this volume. We do that by limiting personal leave, asking employees to work extra shifts and [rehiring] former employees to serve…during this busy season.
No one in the national media mentioned any of this, of course. Instead it was all about retail and online and handheld sales setting new records. It was all about retailers opening at midnight, or earlier, to capture the discount crowd more interested in saving a few bucks than watching TV or spending time with family. It was about deals like the 65-inch Vizio TV that Walmart usually sells for $998 being discounted to $648. It was all about crowds filling parking lots to overflowing, forcing some to park on the grass or in medians with motors running while the hungry consumer ran in to make a purchase while the sale was going on.
In Colorado Springs, for example, which has seven Walmart stores, there was a line of more than 600 people at one of those stores at midnight lined up waiting to pick up those TVs. When one purchaser escaped the crush of customers with his purchase voucher (the store would notify him when to come back to pick it up in a couple of weeks), the line hadn’t gotten any shorter.
The national media reported estimates that Black Friday at retailers showed gains of between 15 and 25 percent over last year. There were stories of computers going down at Best Buy (once on Thanksgiving Day and twice more on Black Friday) due to overloading. Records set last year – 140 million shoppers spent nearly $60 billion in twenty-four hours – were easily broken as new shoppers with freshly issued credit cards failed to resist temptation. Some are predicting that, once the dust has settled, they spent between $70 and $100 billion this year, not counting online or handheld sales.
Black Friday is called that because that is when most retailers finally turn the corner and start making a profit for the year. Prior to November they operate in the red, but after Black Friday they begin operating in the black for the first time.
FBI’s Fischer’s job gets more and more complicated every day. Not only is he operating under the Brady Gun Act, which requires the FBI to complete every background check within three days or else the transaction is automatically completed. He and his people have to access three separate databases to ferret out the bad guys and the miscreants: the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Interstate Identification Index (III) and its own NCIS Index.
In addition, the 3-D printing technology is not only increasing in sophistication to the point where individuals can purchase software for making guns at home, but the prices of 3-D printers are coming down to the point where they can afford to do so. This means that citizens are increasingly able to exercise their Second Amendment rights without having to stand in line or fill out a form for the government. It’s called freedom.
It’s reflected in bumper stickers with the president’s face and a moniker: “America’s Greatest Gun Salesman” or that state “The Second Amendment: the one that Insures all the Others.”
The latest research reveals that Americans are exercising those rights to such a degree that there is almost one firearm for every citizen in the country: more than 310 million weapons among a population of 320 million.
This of course doesn’t count the number owned by criminals who steal them from legitimate owners and then barter them on the streets. The FBI’s NCIS system isn’t set up for them. It’s only to track the ownership of innocents, not the guilty.
And then there are the states that don’t require private sales or transfers to be recorded anywhere. So FBI’s Fischer is fighting an uphill battle: freedom is gaining on the government. Black Friday records just prove the point.
Washington Times: Black Friday gives gun sales a big bounce: FBI