workplace violenceWith Congress failing to pass gun control legislation in the wake of the Newtown Conn. and other shootings, the Obama administration yesterday imposed new gun control measures by way of executive actions.

The changes include curbing the import of military surplus weapons and closing a little-known loophole that lets felons and others circumvent background checks by registering guns to corporations.

“Even as Congress fails to act on common-sense proposals, like expanding criminal background checks and making gun trafficking a federal crime, the President and Vice President remain committed to using all the tools in their power to make progress toward reducing gun violence,” according to a White House statement released yesterday.

The two executive actions were added to a list of 23 steps the White House said Obama would take to reduce gun violence.

In April, Senate Democrats failed to win sufficient votes to pass a bill that would have tightened enforcement on gun trafficking and expanded the background check system.

Only a few exemptions will be allowed under the action to end a government practice that lets military weapons, sold or donated by the U.S. to allies, be reimported into the U.S. by private entities, where some may end up on the streets. The new policy will allow museums, the government and a few other entities to reimport military-grade firearms.

Obama said earlier this week that he would continue to combat gun violence in major cities through the use of executive actions. 

The American Public Health Association (APHA) has called gun violence one of the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S.