WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama unveiled sweeping proposals to curb gun violence, signing 23 executive orders, Tuesday, that don't require the approval of Congress.
In the month that has passed since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, Obama said 900 people have died from gunshot wounds.
He said Americans, including the children who wrote him letters urging him to do something to prevent more mass shootings, want action.
Will doctors now be required to ask patients if they have guns in the home? Ken Klukowski, author of The Blueprint: Obama's Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, explains this and more on the implications of Obama's orders, on CBN Newswatch, Jan. 16.
"We will make it easier to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by strengthening the background check system. We will help schools hire more resource officers if they want them," he said.
He's also directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study ways to reduce gun violence.
The audience, filled with gun violence victims and gun control advocates, applauded when the president announced a measure that will need congressional action: background checks on all gun buyers, closing the so-called "gun show loophole."
"The law already requires licensed dealers to run background checks and over the last 14 years that's kept 1.4 million of the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun," Obama said.
"But it's hard to enforce when as many as 40 percent of gun purchases are conducted without a background check," he added.
The president called on Americans to demand change, especially those from regions with strong traditions of gun ownership, to pressure their members of Congress.
Obama said he believes the Second Amendment guarantees an individuals right to bear arms and he respects America's tradition of gun ownership. He said that respect can remain intact while still reducing gun violence.
"There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty," Obama said. "Not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear."
The National Rifle Association is already out with an ad calling the president an "elitist hypocrite" when it comes to promoting security.
"Are the president's kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school," the ad says.
Obama wants to capitalize on the mood of the country following the tragedy at Sandy Hook, but it will likely be months before members address gun legislation.
First they must address three looming fiscal deadlines to meet. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said immigration reform, not gun control, tops his priority list.