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Gun Violence Takes Center Stage in Obama Weekly Address

US President Barack Obama (R) unveils a series of proposals to counter gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden looks on during an event at the White House in Washington, in this January 16, 2013, file photo.
U.S. President Barack Obama says his administration is taking "a series of concrete steps" to protect America's children and communities from gun violence.

The president said in his weekly address Saturday that the immediate steps include strengthening the background check system, helping schools hire more resource officers if they want them, and directing the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to reduce gun violence.

Obama said, however, "a real and lasting difference" also requires Congress to act soon.

The president called on Congress to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun.

Obama said the lawmakers should restore a ban on military-style weapons and enact a 10-round limit for magazines.

The U.S. leader said Congress needs to "make it easier, rather than harder," for law enforcement agencies to do their jobs, calling for hard consequences for people who buy guns and then sell them to criminals.

President Obama said he believes most gun owners agree that "we can respect the Second Amendment [of the U.S. Constitution]" - the right to bear arms - "while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from causing harm on a massive scale."