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Obama tightens rules on gun control

The White House has unveiled gun control measures that require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks, moves Barack Obama said were well within his authority to implement without congressional approval.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will now require that people who sell guns at stores, at gun shows or over the Internet be licensed and conduct checks, officials said. The ATF was finalizing a rule requiring background checks for buyers of dangerous weapons from a trust, corporation or other legal entity as well.

Obama, speaking to reporters before the measures were made public Monday, said they were consistent with the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch, but they're also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support," Obama said.

Obama, who has expressed deep frustration about U.S. gun control regulations after a series of mass shootings at schools and other places during his presidency, met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday to discuss gun control measures that do not require congressional approval.

Obama acknowledged that his planned initiatives will not solve every violent crime or prevent every mass shooting, but he said they could "potentially save lives."

"Although it is my strong belief that for us to get our complete arms around the problem, Congress needs to act, what I asked my team to do was to see what more we could do to strengthen our enforcement and prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands," Obama said.

He said his goal is to make sure that "criminals, people who are mentally unstable, and those who could pose a danger to themselves and others" are less likely to obtain a firearm.

The president said in his weekly radio address on Friday he has received "too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing" about the issue.

Shares in firearm manufacturers traded higher Monday: Smith & Wesson closed up nearly 6 percent and Sturm Ruger closed nearly 3 percent higher on a day the broader market dropped sharply.

—CNBC's Everett Rosenfeld contributed to this report.