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February was one of the biggest months ever for background checks on people seeking to purchase firearms from licensed dealers, federal officials reported Wednesday.
There were 2.61 million firearm background checks performed last month, according to the latest report from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), making February the third-biggest month on record.
The biggest month on record was in December 2015, when the shooting massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., renewed focus on gun control. Officials processed 3.31 million background check requests that month.
There have been at least 2 million background checks each month since last November.
In December 2012, the month of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, 2.78 million requests were processed, making it the second-busiest month for officials.
The FBI has boosted staff to handle more background checks in response to the Obama administration's push for tighter controls on gun purchases. The bureau expects to add 100 people to its 500-person processing staff this year, according to The Wall Street Journal.