Following recommendations presented to him by VP Joe Biden, Pres. Obama announced at the White House his proposals to reduce gun violence.
The President is calling for a $500 million program to curb gun violence. He said he wants to strengthen the background check system, allow schools to hire more resource officers, and review emergency response plans.
He is also directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin research into the causes and effects of gun violence, saying that the gun lobby can't continue to press legislators to de-fund any research on health and guns.
The President asked Congress to work quickly to require a universal background check for all gun purchases, including those from private sellers and gun shows. He is seeking a ban on assault rifles and magazines larger than 10 rounds.
Joining the President at the event were four children who had written him letters following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
The announcement was attended by many of the President's Cabinet members, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
The President also signed 23 executive actions, including three executive orders, which will take effect immediately to curb the violence.