Strengthen gun control laws: Obama tells Congress

With sentiments running high in favour of stricter gun control laws, US President Barack Obama Saturday asked the Congress to speed up legislations for universal background checks for people trying to buy guns, and restoring a ban on military-style assault weapons.

Obama's open appeal to the US Congress came days after he signed some 23 executive orders for stricter gun control.

Obama said while the Constitution guarantees individual right to bear arms and the vast majority of gun owners act responsibly, it is imperative to ensure that people who should not be allowed to own weapons are not able to acquire them.

"My administration is taking a series of actions right away — 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," he in his weekly radio and web address to the nation.

"But the truth is, making a real and lasting difference also requires Congress to act — and act soon," Obama said.

The US in recent times has witnessed a series of tragic incidents of gun owners turning their weapons on innocent people.

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