For shoppers in most of the country, Black Friday is a chance to dive-bomb the mall to load up on price-slashed Christmas gifts, clothes for the new year or that laptop that's been too expensive to until now.
Floridians, though, apparently thought the day after Thanksgiving was the perfect time to re-up their home arsenal. New statistics from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show Black Friday 2014 was the third busiest day ever for gun sales in Florida. Yes, Ferguson may have played a role.
The FDLE stats show that 8,300 background checks were done on Nov. 28, capping off a booming week for new gun sales that saw about 23,000 new checks.
An average week is closer to 14,000 background checks, FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey tells the Orlando Sentinel.
The Black Friday sales are only eclipsed in Florida history by the two days after the Newton, Connecticut shooting, when a mass nationwide run was sparked by rumors of pending gun control crackdowns. (Which, of course, never materialized.)
So what could have set off a run on weapons this time around? Well, it's a safe bet it wasn't just Black Friday discounts at the local gun shop.
Four days before Black Friday, a grand jury in Missouri refused to indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson for shooting and killing an unarmed teen named Mike Brown. Protests, some of which turned violent, swept across St. Louis.
Just a few days before that, a disturbed ex-Florida State law student named Myron May stormed into the library in Tallahassee, wounding three students before police killed him.
"I can tell you Newtown had a dramatic increase," Bailey tells the Sentinel. "It's too early for me to say if Ferguson has had an increase or not."
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