President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 14, 2013..

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled his strategy aimed at curbing gun violence in the United States.

The president’s plan proposes bans on assault-style weapons, stricter background checks for gun sales and more efforts to boost mental health services.

It is based on recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden.  He was appointed to study the issue and has met with various groups since last month’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, left 20 young children and six adults dead.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says Obama’s plan includes measures that require Congressional approval, and actions the president can take on his own, through executive order.

On Tuesday, New York state became the first in the United States to impose tougher gun-control measures in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings.

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law Tuesday, a short time after it won final approval in the legislature.

The bill expands the state’s ban on assault-style weapons and requires background checks for anyone seeking to buy ammunition.  It also puts limits on ammunition capacity and includes provisions intended to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

The National Rifle Association, the largest gun-rights lobbying group in the United States, says it supports keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.  But it issued a statement saying “gun-control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime.”

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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