Sales of guns soared 17 percent in October, jumping to an eye-popping 2,333,539 over September and setting an 18th straight monthly record and putting 2016 on par to be the biggest ever for gun sales at possibily 28 million, according to industry officials and FBI data.

Never have sales been so high in any October, and predictions are that gun purchases will soar to historic levels leading up to next week's elections and after if gun control advocate Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

The FBI background check data closely parallels sales and is used as a gauge of weapons sold.

So far this year, a total of 22,206,233 background checks have been run, a 10-month record.

Last year's record sales of 23,141,970 should easily be passed this month and could reach 28 million for the year.

For example, Hyatt Guns of Charlotte, N.C., one of the nation's largest and a big sell of AR-15-style rifles and semi-automatic pistols, said that they have seen sales doubling each month this year.

"We are preparing throughout the store for unprecedented business beginning Nov. 9. We expect continued growth in small framed handguns used for concealed carry. We also expect the number of women choosing to defend themselves with a firearm to continue to grow. Frankly, we're in uncharted territory right now as far as gun sales," said Hyatt marketing director Justin Anderson.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at