The state of Florida may have a new nickname after people went shopping during the Black Friday weekend in 2021: the "Gunshine" state.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported over 8,600 criminal records checks were done during the busy shopping weekend, up 14 percent from the same weekend in 2020.
Gun shop owners said this was one of the first years where online gun sales made up a bulk of orders.
“For Black Friday, a huge pile of online sales was stacked to the roof,” Joshua Araujo, a worker at a gun shop in Cape Coral, told NBC affiliate WBBH-TV. “It’s getting easier. People can use their phone, use their laptop, they don’t have to leave their couch. It can be in the shop in 3-5 days.”
Araujo said many new gun buyers are first-time owners who recently moved to Florida but advised those purchasing online must follow the same rules as those purchasing in-store.
“They have to follow the legalities of the background check and doing the paperwork and passing the other requirements,” Araujo said. “Here in Florida, they just have to wait three days- pass a background check and they can have it before Christmas.”
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.