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Gun Sale Background Checks Hit New High in December 2015

Checks, which closely track sales, have nearly doubled since Obama was elected, and hit new highs at the end of 2015.

Gun sales have nearly doubled since President Obama took office, hitting a new high in 2015, according to federal data, and peaking in December after mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino.

A previous peak came just after the Newtown massacre in December 2012, which President Obama referenced in his speech Tuesday announcing a new executive order expanding background checks.

More people applied for background checks, which closely tracks sales figures, in 2015 than in any previous year -- 23.1 million. Black Friday, Nov. 27, marked the single biggest day ever for background checks, with more than 185,000, according to National Instant Criminal Background Check System numbers from the FBI.

December 2015 was the highest month for background checks at 3.3 million. While gun sales always increase during the holiday season, they surged after the Newtown mass shooting, hitting then-record totals of 2.8 and 2.5 million in December 2012 and January 2013.

This December’s increase in checks may be linked to the Nov. 13 massacre in Paris and the Dec. 2 terror attack in California.

Five of the top ten and two of the top five background check totals were also notched in late 2015. Only the week after Newtown saw more gun sales than the week of Dec. 14 to Dec. 20, 2015. In all, eight of the top 10 sales weeks were either in November or December 2015 or the months just following Newtown.

In November 2008, the month Obama was elected, checks jumped more than 300,000 to 1.529 million, then a record. The total number of checks in 2008 was 12.7 million, and has increased every year since. It has now nearly doubled to 23.1 million.