Even as he uses his executive powers to enact 23 measures that don't require the approval of Congress, President Barack Obama said there's only so much he can do to reduce gun violence unless lawmakers act. He said that's what it will take to make a "real and lasting difference."
His executive orders include tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks. And they give schools flexibility to use federal grant money to improve school safety.
A presidential memorandum will instruct the Centers for Disease Control to research causes and prevention of gun violence.
Obama wants Congress to renew and expand a ban on assault weapons, and limit high-capacity magazines.
And he wants lawmakers to close loopholes that permit private gun transactions to occur without background checks.
The White House said nearly 40 percent of gun sales are conducted by private individuals now exempt from checking the backgrounds of buyers.
The head of the Republican National Committee is dismissing the gun control provisions announced today by Obama as an "executive power grab."
Reince Priebus said Obama "took actions that disregard the Second Amendment."
House Speaker John Boehner's office is non-committal, but it is signaling no urgency to act on Obama's proposals.
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