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Image: Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty

December holiday shoppers were not just interested in buying the hottest electronics and toys — they also were purchasing record numbers of guns, according to the latest FBI figures on background checks required to buy firearms.

With a few days left in December, the FBI reports the number of background checks has already topped the previous one-month record — set only in November — of 1,534,414 inquiries by gun dealers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System also known as NICS. Almost half a million checks were done in just the last six days before Christmas.

Two days before Christmas, NICS ran 102,222 background checks, which was the second-busiest day in history. The one-day record was set this year on Black Friday, the big shopping day following Thanksgiving, with 129,166 searches. By comparison, the previous one-day high was set November 28, 2008, when gun dealers made slightly less than 98,000 requests for background searches.

Source: Carol Cratty for CNN.

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