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david Nakamura and Juilet Ellperin

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Jan. 4, 2015

President Obama is announcing executive orders on gun control, but how does that work? Here's a look at how the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court have roles — and limitations — in executive orders. (Julie Percha,Jackie Kucinich,Rebecca Schatz/The Washington Post)



The Obama administration on Monday unveiled a series of new executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence and making some political headway on one of the most frustrating policy areas of President Obama’s tenure.

The package, which Obama plans to announce Tuesday, includes 10 separate provisions, White House officials said. One key provision would require more gun sellers — especially those who do business on the Internet and at gun shows — to be licensed and would force them to conduct background checks on potential buyers. Obama would devote $500 million more in federal funds to treating mental illness — a move that could require congressional approval — and require that firearms lost in transit between a manufacturer and a seller be reported to federal authorities.

At the president’s direction, the FBI will begin hiring more than 230 additional examiners and other personnel to help process new background checks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has established a new investigation center to keep track of illegal gun trafficking online and will devote $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.

“The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage, but they can’t hold America hostage. We can’t accept this carnage in our communities,” Obama said in a Twitter message Monday evening, referring to the National Rifle Association.

The president is scheduled to talk about his new policies in the East Room on Tuesday, and two days later he will participate in a town hall at George Mason University that will be televised on CNN.

Obama confident new gun measures are constitutionally soundPresident Barack Obama says he will roll out gun control initiatives that he is confident will respect the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which gives the right to bear arms. (Reuters)