According to a story in the Bangor (ME) Daily News, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS suffered intermittent outages on Black Friday due to call volume. A number of Bangor-area firearms dealers reported trouble with the system which caused them to lose sales. While a number of their customers were local, a good proportion were from the more rural areas of Maine and made a special trip into the Bangor-Brewer area just to purchase a firearm.
The FBI confirmed the outage to the newspaper.
Black Friday sales played a role in the problems with NICS, the director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division said, responding to an email from the Bangor Daily News.
“The NICS has experienced intermittent outages today due to high call volumes,” Stephen G. Fischer Jr. said at about 2:15 p.m.
Lozier, who has worked at Van Raymond’s for more than a decade, said the outages cost him at least half a dozen customers by the time the business day was only half over.
“If we can’t call it in, we can’t sell a gun,” Lozier said. “It’s cost us some money.”
This report of high sales and resultant outages on the East Coast correlates with what Dave Workman was finding in Washington State.
Friday may have broken records for gun sales across the country, and for background checks with the National Instant Check System (NICS), and gun dealers here in the Pacific Northwest were definitely along for the ride.
Examiner checked with Wade’s Indoor Gun Range in Bellevue and learned that there were times during the day when sales clerks simply could not get through to the NICS headquarters to conduct the necessary background checks.
It was the same story from Robin Ball, proprietor at Spokane’s Sharp Shooting Indoor Range, who told this column that “We had guns (and paperwork) stacked up…and we were doing speed dialing to finally get through.” When they did, she noted, clerks would have to do several checks at a time. She noted that Wednesday was also busy.
Ball said that NICS access began improving Friday afternoon as East Coast and central-U.S. gun shops began closing for the day.
I can’t wait to see the NSSF-adjusted NICS statistics for November. I think you are going to see records broken yet again.