TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s love affair with guns remains strong, with Black Friday sales setting a record for the weekend.
Black Friday is seen as the kickoff for what has become a gun-buying season, and 2015 is no exception.
Based on background check information provided by the state, December gun sales typically run 20 to 50 percent higher than other months.
The number of people seeking background checks for gun purchases this past weekend hit an all-time high for Black Friday weekend. Friday through Sunday saw almost 15,000 people buying guns, pending background checks. This weekend's number is nearly 2,000 more than 2013, which set a yearly record for gun purchases.
One Sporting Goods store saw no signs of a gun love affair abating.
“Business has stayed strong," store manager Miles Glass said. "I would say our gun sales are probably up a little bit above last year.”
A man identified only as Todd purchased a handgun and ammo for several other guns. He declined to give his last name, but said he is retired from law enforcement.
“I’ve owned guns for years," he said. "But if you are asking if there is an alternative reason, of course there is, just like everybody else is scared.”
The numbers reflect background checks only, not the number of guns sold. Someone could pass a background check and take home two or three guns.
The weekend saw a mix of gun buyers. Many already have concealed carry permits and could take their guns with them. Others are waiting three days.
“We get a lot of first-time buyers, absolutely," Glass said. "Especially in this day and age, there (are) a lot of new buyers and new people getting into guns, certainly. A lot of that is going to be for home defense and personal defense.
While Black Friday weekend is typically the busiest gun-buying weekend of the year, December usually outpaces every other month in gun sales.