Gun background checks reach record highs in December, January

FBI data released Tuesday show that federal gun background checks reached their second highest monthly total ever in January, eclipsed only by December 2012.

2,495,400 background checks were conducted in January, according to the Bureau, representing an explosion in American gun sales.

December produced a record 2,783,765 gun background checks nationwide.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System — or NICS — began tracking the data in 1998, according to CNN.

The robust increase in gun sales follows news of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December and an Obama administration effort to restrict certain types of gun purchases in the wake of the tragedy.

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