In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president reviewed a series of executive actions he signed this week following a series of meetings Vice President Joe Biden held with "more than 200 different groups -- from parents and teachers, to law enforcement and sportsmen, to religious leaders and mental health professionals."
He repeated his promise to "do everything in my power" to implement changes, "from strengthening our background check system, to helping schools hire more resource officers if they want them, to directing the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to reduce gun violence."
"But the truth is, making a real and lasting difference also requires Congress to act -- and act soon," Obama said.
The president called on Congress to require universal background checks for all gun buyers, restore a federal ban on military-style assault weapons and enact a 10-round limit for magazines.
"Finally, Congress needs to make it easier, rather than harder, for law enforcement to do its job," he said. "We should get tougher on people who buy guns only to turn around and sell them to criminals. And at a time when many communities have been forced to make cuts to their police force, we should put more cops back on the job and back on the street."
Obama said he believes the Second Amendment "guarantees an individual right to bear arms" but he also believes "most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from causing harm on a massive scale."
"None of this will be easy," the president said. "Already, we're seeing pundits, politicians, and special-interest lobbyists calling any attempt at commonsense reform an all-out assault on liberty -- not because that's true, but because that's how they get higher ratings and make more money," he said. "And behind the scenes, they're doing everything they can to protect the status quo."
Once again, the president called on Americans to pressure Congress to take action soon on gun legislation.