The president is asking Congress to renew the ban on high-grade, military-style assault weapons that was first signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994 but expired in 2004.
Other measures before Congress include limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring background checks for all gun buyers in an attempt to close the so-called "gun-show loophole" that allows people to buy guns at trade shows and over the Internet without submitting to background checks.
Obama also intends to seek confirmation for B. Todd Jones, who has served as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives since 2011.
The president's long list of executive orders includes:
— Ordering tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks and requiring federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
— Ending limits that make it more difficult for the government to research gun violence, such as gathering data on guns that fall into criminal hands.
— Requiring federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
— Giving schools flexibility to use federal grant money to improve school safety, such as by hiring school resource officers.
— Giving communities grants to institute programs to keep guns away from people who shouldn't have them.