Posted at: 01/16/2013 6:13 PM
By: Laura Lee
(ABC 6 News) -- The tragic deaths of 20 school children at Sandy Hook Elementary made America pause and reconsider its relationship with guns.
Wednesday President Obama announced the most sweeping push for gun control in decades.
The president signed 23 executive actions on gun control that don't need approval by lawmakers.
Those actions include strengthening the national criminal background checks for gun purchases and more federal research on gun violence. But the president is up against a congress that's very reluctant to pass comprehensive gun control.
"The most important action we can take depends on congressional action, they need to bring these proposals up for a vote, and the American people need to make sure they do," he says.
Obama is also asking congress to ban high-capacity magazine clips and to renew a ban on semi-automatic rifles, those so-called assault weapons.
The NRA responded, calling the actions an attack on firearms.
The president intends to nominate Minnesota's U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones as his choice to be the next leader of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A man he says will help implement the changes.
Jones' nomination must still be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, something congress hasn't done, in six years.