The FBI completed 2.9 million gun background checks in December, up 15 percent from a year ago and helping 2019 set the record for the most since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) began in 1998.

On Monday, the FBI said it completed 28.4 million background checks in 2019, up 8.4 percent from 2018 and up 3 percent from the previous record set in 2016.

December’s count marked the second-highest month ever for NICS background checks.