The long predicted crash of the gun market following President Trump’s election victory over gun-banner Hillary Rodham Clinton never showed up and 2017 became the second highest year of sales after 2016, the FBI reported Wednesday.

According to the agency, there were 25,235,215 gun background checks conducted in 2017, and many in the industry say the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is the best gauge of sales.

Only 2016 was better since the system began in 1998. More than 27.5 million background checks were recorded last year.

The year of gun sales surprised many especially in May and August when monthly sales records were set. December was the top month with 2,586,138 checks taking place.

Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns of Charlotte, N.C. one of the nation’s largest retailers to police and civilians, said a combination of factors helped to propel sales last year.

“First, you had a large new group of gun buyers created during the eight years of the Obama administration. Many of those people became gun enthusiasts and continued to buy more guns,” he told Secrets.

“More importantly, though, is the overall atmosphere in the country. I have never seen a more divided nation. That division breeds fear and fear has always been a driver of increased gun sales. In addition, you have terrorist incidents, uncertainty about North Korea, mass shootings, and threats of violent crime,” he added.

And, said Anderson in a comment that may shock many in urban areas where gun control remains fashionable, “Guns have also become more socially acceptable. Ten years ago when I got into this business, guns were a verboten subject in friendly conversation. Fast forward to today and guns are becoming mainstream. Honestly, this is truly an amazing time to be part of the gun industry and I’m looking forward to another great year in 2018!”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com