PORT ALLEN -- Christmas is one of the busiest times for gunshops, but sales came to a screeching halt when the FBI's background check system crashed.

According to our partners at WBRZ, Spillway Sportsman owner Scott Roe had to turn customers away because he could not perform the background check federally required to purchase a firearm. He said the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was inaccessible.

"It was shut down completely, nothing worked," Roe said.

It was the same problem across the river for Jim McClain, president of Jim's Firearms in Baton Rouge.

"The online system went down, and then their phone system went down," McClain said.

The two dealers estimate the system crash cost them $70,000 combined. They said it's been a recurring problem the weekend before Christmas for a few years now.

"When the government can effectively shut you down, it's scary," McClain said.

For more, visit WBRZ.com