An emotional US President Barack Obama has unveiled new restrictions on gun purchases at the White House, saying the “constant excuses for inaction” have to stop.
The White House has outlined his plans for executive action, which focus on background checks.
Most of the actions can be carried out without Congressional approval.
“That’s why we’re here, not to do something about the last mass shooting, but to prevent the next one,” he said.
“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they can’t hold America hostage,” Mr Obama said.
He gave his remarks surrounded by survivors and relatives of victims of shootings, recalling mass shootings in the US in the past few years and everyday gun violence in cities like Chicago.
Gun violence is significantly higher in the US than in other advanced countries, killing about 30,000 people each year.
Congress has been reluctant to pass any laws restricting gun ownership, facing pressure from voter bases and the powerful National Rifle Association.
The president reviewed the executive actions, which include:
- Background checks for all gun sellers, overturning current exemptions to some online and gun show sellers
- States providing information on people disqualified from buying guns due to mental illness or domestic violence
- Increased workforce for the FBI to process background checks, hiring more than 230 new examiners
- Congress being asked to invest $500m (£339m) to improve access to mental healthcare in the US
- The departments of defence, justice and homeland security exploring “smart gun technology” to improve gun safety