The FBI completed 2.8 million gun background checks in February, up 36 percent from February 2018 and the third-highest monthly total since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) began in 1998.

February’s total surpassed January’s mark of 2.7 million background checks and is topped only by December 2015 and December 2019 with 3.3 million and 2.9 million background checks, respectively.

Earlier this year, 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.

Photo courtesy NICS