Obama, frustrated by Congress, plans unilateral gun control steps

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Obama Expected to Add New Gun Control Measures

President Barack Obama, frustrated by Congress' inaction on gun control, will meet with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday to discuss ways of reducing gun violence unilaterally through measures that do not require congressional approval.

Obama, in his weekly recorded address, said on Friday he has received "too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing."

He has repeatedly urged Congress to tighten gun laws. His calls grew louder following the 2012 massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and again after mass shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and San Bernardino, California in recent months.

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Obama, frustrated by Congress, plans unilateral gun control steps
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, a demonstrator helps hold a large "Come and Take It" banner at a rally in support of open carry gun laws at the Capitol, in Austin, Texas. Texas, the second-most populous state, is joining 44 other states in allowing at least some firearm owners to carry handguns openly in public places. Under the Texas law, guns can be carried by those with licenses and only in holsters. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2015 file photo, Scott Smith, a supporter of open carry gun laws, wears a pistol as he prepares for a rally in support of open carry gun laws at the Capitol, in Austin, Texas. Texas the second-most populous state, is joining 44 other states in allowing at least some firearm owners to carry handguns openly in public places. Under the Texas law, guns can be carried by those with licenses and only in holsters. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
DES MOINES, IA - JUNE 14: Gun rights advocates demonstrate outside the Elwell Family food Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected for a campaign event on June 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Trystan Olson, 4, of Spokane, Wash., holds a toy gun as he leans into the barrel of the rifle of his father, Erik Olson, during a rally by gun-rights advocates at the state capitol Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, in Olympia, Wash. Approximately 50 demonstrators, including a half-dozen small children, protested rules that prohibit openly carrying guns into the House and Senate viewing galleries. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Protesters pledge allegiance during a rally by gun-rights advocates to protest a new expanded gun background check law in Washington state Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Olympia, Wash. Saturday's protest was called the "I Will Not Comply" rally, and those attending said they will openly exchange firearms in opposition to the state's new voter-approved universal background check law, Initiative 594. The law, which took effect on Dec. 4, requires background checks on all sales and transfers, including private transactions and many loans and gifts. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Demonstrators with rifles slung across their backs attend a rally by gun-rights advocates to protest a new expanded gun background check law in Washington state Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Olympia, Wash. Saturday's protest was called the "I Will Not Comply" rally, and those attending said they will openly exchange firearms in opposition to the state's new voter-approved universal background check law, Initiative 594. The law, which took effect on Dec. 4, requires background checks on all sales and transfers, including private transactions and many loans and gifts. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)
Rob Petersen, of Federal Way, Wash., holds a sign during a rally by gun-rights advocates to protest a new expanded gun background check law in Washington state Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Olympia, Wash. Saturday's protest was called the "I Will Not Comply" rally, and those attending said they will openly exchange firearms in opposition to the state's new voter-approved universal background check law, Initiative 594. The law, which took effect on Dec. 4, requires background checks on all sales and transfers, including private transactions and many loans and gifts. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 13: Gun rights activist Mike Vanderboegh speaks during an 'I Will Not Comply' rally at the State Capitol on December 13, 2014 in Olympia, Washington. Gun rights activists protested Washington State's voter-passed initiative that requires background checks for all guns sales and exchanges. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC - JANUARY 18: A gun rights advocate shows off a civil war rifle during a break at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on January 18, 2015 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A variety of conservative presidential hopefuls spoke at the gathering on the second day of a three day event. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
Marie McFadden holds her daughter, Faith, 6, as she prays with armed demonstrators as the group concludes a gun-rights rally at the state capitol Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, in Olympia, Wash. Approximately 50 demonstrators, including a half-dozen small children, protested rules that prohibit openly carrying guns into the House and Senate viewing galleries. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 13: A pair of gun rights activists listen to a speaker during an 'I Will Not Comply' rally at the State Capitol on December 13, 2014 in Olympia, Washington. Gun rights activists protested Washington State's voter-passed initiative that requires background checks for all guns sales and exchanges. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 13: Mike Ladines of Covington, Washington holds a sign while listening to a speaker during an 'I Will Not Comply' rally at the State Capitol on December 13, 2014 in Olympia, Washington. Gun rights activists protested Washington State's voter-passed initiative that requires background checks for all guns sales and exchanges. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2015 file photo, gun rights advocates carry rifles while protesting outside the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas. Although Texas has more than 800,000 concealed handgun license holders, it is one of only six states that don’t allow open carry, a ban that dates almost to the Civil War. But open carry looked primed to pass this year with strong support from Gov. Greg Abbott and other top Republicans who have dominated state politics for two decades. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Demonstrators look on during a rally by gun-rights advocates at the state capitol Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, in Olympia, Wash. Approximately 50 demonstrators, including a half-dozen small children, protested rules that prohibit openly carrying guns into the House and Senate viewing galleries. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A Colt M4 gun and a button that reads "I Vote - Proud Washington Gun Owner," are displayed by Mark Ramirez, of Bainbridge Island, Wash., as he takes part in a gun-rights rally, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., in opposition to the state's Initiative 594, which requires - with only a few exceptions - background checks on all gun sales and transfers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Gun owners display their weapons on the steps of the Legislative Building during a gun-rights rally, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The protestors were demonstrating against the state's Initiative 594, which requires - with only a few exceptions - background checks on all gun sales and transfers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Protestors, including Mark Ramirez, center, of Bainbridge Island, Wash., wearing his Colt M4 gun, take part in a gun-rights rally, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash, in opposition to the state's Initiative 594, which requires - with only a few exceptions - background checks on all gun sales and transfers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Matt Mulder, left, holds an AR-15 rifle as he has his photo taken while Mary Hath Spokane, center, gives info to Steel Brooks after having her picture taken during a rally by gun-rights advocates to protest a new expanded gun background check law in Washington state Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Olympia, Wash. Saturday's protest was called the "I Will Not Comply" rally, and those attending said they will openly exchange firearms in opposition to the state's new voter-approved universal background check law, Initiative 594. The law, which took effect on Dec. 4, requires background checks on all sales and transfers, including private transactions and many loans and gifts. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Members of Texas law enforcement wait for a news conference to begin Wednesday, May 27, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Law enforcement groups from across Texas are demanding Gov. Greg Abbott veto a handgun open carry bill if they can't strip out a restriction on police powers to question people carrying weapons.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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"A few months ago, I directed my team at the White House to look into any new actions I can take to help reduce gun violence," Obama said in the address. "And on Monday, I'll meet with our attorney general, Loretta Lynch, to discuss our options."

The Washington Post, citing several individuals briefed on the matter, said Obama and Lynch would finalize executive actions, which do not require congressional approval, that he will unveil next week.

Frustrated by Congress, Obama has vowed to use "whatever power this office holds" to put in place gun control measures.

"We know that we can't stop every act of violence," Obama said. "But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something – anything – to protect our kids from gun violence?"

Obama's address came as a Texas law allowing licensed firearms owners to carry handguns openly in public places took effect.

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott echoed its backers' slogan in a Twitter comment: "Obama wants to impose more gun control. My response? COME & TAKE IT."

The Post said Obama would use executive authority in several areas, including expanding background-check requirements for buyers who purchase weapons from high-volume dealers.

Ted Alcorn, research director for gun control advocacy group Everytown, said Everytown officials met with Obama in December to make recommendations for executive action.

Top among them was a regulation to clarify when gun sellers need a federal firearms license, he said.

Thousands of guns are sold yearly by dealers who fall between licensed dealers and occasional sellers who do not need a license. Clarification could define which sellers need to meet rules and do background checks. Alcorn said.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama was aware Congress was unlikely to act on gun reform.

(Reporting by Sandra Maler and Ian Simpson; Additional reporting by Megan Cassella in Washington and Jeff Mason in Honolulu; Editing by Bill Trott and Cynthia Osterman)

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