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For the first time ever, more than three million Americans applied for firearm background checks in a single month, new FBI data show.

The record, set in December, capped off a year in which 23.1 million background checks were initiated—also a new record.

December is historically the peak month for background checks. The previous monthly record, at 2.8 million, was set in December 2012, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

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Among states seeing record annual sales in 2015 was Florida, where firearms purchases were up 14% in 2015, eclipsing the record set following Sandy Hook. Sales spiked following the San Bernardino shootings, Jacksonville's News4Jax reported.

“When the White House starts talking about gun control, and banning guns, people start to get serious about their own protection,” Marion Hammer, of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, told the station.

This week, President Obama plans to announce a series of executive actions that will attempt to tighten background checks, including closing the so-called "gun show loophole" that allows private purchasers to forego the checks.

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Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.