Holiday gun sales booming locally and nationally

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) -- When it comes to holiday gun sales, Last Resort Guns in Madison is right on target.

"We did well better this month than a year ago," said owner Russell Durling. "Our sales were up, our revenues were up and range use was up, so we're happy as we could be."

Durling is quick to note that his new location had only been open for a few months during last year's holiday rush, but the store's success is still part of a national trend.

FBI officials say they set a Black Friday record this year of more than 175,000 background checks, which is almost three times the daily average.

Two of the FBI's top 10 busiest days for background checks include the day after Thanksgiving.  Durling says it's a side effect of the holiday shopping season.

"People give themselves permission to go spend money after Thanksgiving. It just seems to be the way it's done."

The number of background checks conducted is not a one-to-one representation of gun sales, but the pace of background checks has doubled since the system was implemented in 1999.

Last Resort Guns performs background checks online, which usually only take a few minutes once the form is filled out.

Durling says the system ran slower this weekend than usual and it went down completely Monday morning.

"The online system went south and we were 40 minutes on the phone waiting to call transfers in."

The system was running smoothly as of Monday afternoon, though.

There are 10 factors that can disqualify a person from purchasing a gun: a felony conviction, an arrest warrant, mental illness, a drug problem, an undocumented immigration status, a dishonorable discharge from the military, a renunciation of U.S. citizenship, a restraining order, a history of domestic violence or an indictment for a crime that is punishable by more than a year in prison.

Durling says shoppers should not let the background checks dissuade them from buying guns as Christmas presents.

"The best way to buy a gun for someone else is to let them come and collect it that way the background check is done on the person who is going to end up in possession of the rifle."

He hopes the firepower behind this weekend triggers more sales through the remainder of the year.

"We're looking forward to the Christmas season. I think we've got every prospect to expect a good Christmas this year."

To learn more about Last Resort Guns' holiday deals, click here.