It’s officially the biggest year ever for background checks

Federal background checks for gun sales in 2016 hit 24.7 million after another record-breaking month in November.

The FBI processed 2,561,281 applications for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month — making it the biggest November in the system’s 18-year history and the second busiest month for checks this year.

This year’s background checks, a known proxy for gun sales nationwide, exceed the 2015 total by more than 1.6 million, a 7 percent increase overall.

Checks for long guns surged 29 percent over October and more than 67 percent over February — the biggest single month this year for background checks, according to federal data.

Handgun checks spiked 18 percent over October, though November’s total of 748,430 still lags behind big surges witnessed in January and February.

November’s adjusted background check total fell just short of 1.7 million — an increase of more than 300,000 checks from October levels. The adjusted total is calculated by removing permit checks and rechecks from the total number of background checks performed for the month.