For this year's Black Friday, sales figures for guns could rival even that of Apple's most popular devices as the federal background check system expects to establish a new record of over 144,000 checks for the holiday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports.
The massive number of background checks, which is equivalent to an average of almost three checks every second, will be handled by 600 FBI and contractual call center employees. The employees will have to work over 17-hour shifts over the weekend to be able to accomplish all of the background checks within three business days, as the law requires.
Stephen Fischer, a spokesman for the FBI, reveals that Black Friday is usually one of the agency's busiest days in terms of the volume of transactions.
On average, over 500 background checks for gun purchases fail daily due to incomplete information required to allow the ownership of a firearm.
Officials expect that two percent, or about 3,000 of the over 144,000 background checks from Black Friday transactions, will fail due to incomplete information.
As of 2 p.m. on Nov. 28, the agency had already received background check requests for 94,000 gun sales, which is on track to surpass the 144,758 total requests in 2013.
"The challenge is to have staff keep up with this volume," said Fischer, who added that the personal leaves of employees have been limited, and they have been asked to come in for extra work shifts. Former employees were also asked to assist during the high-load period when the agency takes in 100 extra workers.
"This means saving lives and protecting people from harm -- by not letting guns fall into the wrong hands," said Kimberly Del Greco, FBI Manager.
Del Greco added that the process also ensures the timely release of purchased guns to qualified buyers.
In 2013, the FBI processed about 21 million checks, with 1.1 percent of gun purchases denied.
Background checks for gun purchases have increased twofold from the over 9 million processed when the system was launched in 1999.
Gun buyers are requested to complete a form with basic information and questions regarding the 10 factors that disqualify a gun purchase.
Gun shops requesting background checks can relay the information written by buyers to the agency through a phone call, or can send the information through a secured Internet connection. The agency will then do a complete background check, which sometimes has employees calling up courthouses to obtain dispositions and records.