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Obama: We're Taking Steps to Prevent Gun Violence

President Barack Obama stains a bookshelf at Burrville Elementary School as the first family participated in a community service project for the National Day of Service, part of the 57th Presidential Inauguration, in Washington, January 19, 2013.
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 actions 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.

But Obama said "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 tougher consequences for people who buy guns and then sell them to criminals.

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

The weekly Republican address, meanwhile, focused on the nation's budget. Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee James Lankford of Oklahoma called on the Democratic-controlled Senate to join the House in "reining in wasteful spending" and passing a budget. He said the nation has never increased spending and federal debt faster than it has in the past four years, accusing Washington of consuming American children's inheritance.