President Barack Obama speaks in Washington, Dec. 10, 2015.
Photo by Susan Walsh/AP

White House to seek expanded background checks for gun sales

President Barack Obama’s advisers are finalizing a proposal that would expand background checks on gun sales — without congressional approval.

White House adviser Valerie Jarrett says the president has asked his team to complete a proposal and submit it for his review “in short order.”

She said the recommendations will include measures to expand background checks.

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Jarrett spoke Wednesday night at a vigil for the victims of the Newtown shooting, according to a summary provided by the White House.

“We came together to honor all those who have died from gun violence, and to rededicate ourselves to the urgent work of making ours a safer country,” Jarrett wrote in a statement on the Huffington Post that included her full remarks at the vigil.

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“Please know that President Obama shares your pain and frustration, as well as your steadfast determination to keep pushing to make us all safer,” Jarret said at the vigil, according to the post.

“That’s why the President has directed his team, in short order, to finalize a set of recommendations on what more the Administration can do on its own to save lives from gun violence,” she said. “And those recommendations will include making sure we are doing everything we can to keep guns out of the wrong hands, including through expanding background checks.”

At a White House press briefing on Thursday, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the review Jarrett was referring to “is something the president has been talking about for a couple of months now.”

“These are essentially recommendations that the president has asked for from his staff based on their review of available executive authority,” Earnest said.

Earnest said congressional inaction around gun laws “has been the source of immense frustration on the part of the president and the part of a lot of people in the executive branch — and frankly, a lot of people across the country.”

“So, given the congressional inaction, the question that’s been raised is what more can the Obama administration do, and that’s the substance of this review,” he said.

After the mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, Obama said his team was looking for ways to tighten gun laws without a vote in Congress. White House officials have said they’re exploring closing the so-called “gun show loophole,” which allows people to buy weapons at gun shows and online without a background check. 

This article first appeared at NBCNews.com

Barack Obama, Gun Policy and White House

White House to seek expanded background checks for gun sales