The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has received over 200,000 background check requests from gun dealers across America on Black Friday, the highest demand for guns on a single day since 1998.
Overall, there were 203,086 requests submitted to the bureau, a sizable increase over single-day highs from past years such as 185,713 in 2016, and 185,345 in 2015.
The real number of the guns purchased on Friday is likely higher as multiple firearms can be purchased in just one transaction.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who heads the powerful Justice Department, has ordered a thorough review of the FBI database used to check the backgrounds of people who want to buy guns.
The checks reveal a person’s record of arrest on the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS).
However, pro-gun activists claim it fails to specify whether an arrest was dismissed or resulted in a conviction.
According to the NICS, five of the top 10 single-day highs have occurred on a Black Friday over the last five years.
The report comes amid heated debates over the need for a more effective background check system following several high-profile mass killings across the US in recent months.
In early October, a heavily armed gunman killed 59 and injured more than 500 people at a music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, which has some of the most lax gun laws in the country.
The shooter, Stephen Paddock, purchased 33 automatic weapons in the last year. Police found a total of 47 guns in the hotel room and house of 64-year-old, who rained down a barrage of bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air concert.
In early November, Devin Patrick Kelley, a former US airman, attacked a small church outside San Antonio, Texas, killing 26 people.
The US Air Force admitted later on that it had failed to enter Kelley’s criminal record into the NICS.
According to a new study published in the journal Health Affairs, more than 100,000 Americans were shot each year from 2006 to 2014, as a result of assaults, accidental shootings or suicide.
Trump’s 2016 election campaign was heavily funded by the NRA. In response, the billionaire had pledged to protect the American gun owners’ right to keep and bear arms, assuring them that they now have a “true friend” in the White House.