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Controversy flares ahead of Obama's gun moves

Several Republican presidential candidates are already denouncing the proposed executive actions
Several Republican presidential candidates ar... 02:37

President Obama is unveiling a series of executive actions Tuesday meant to curb gun violence.

They're already stirring controversy, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.

In a speech at the White House, the president will clarify some federal rules that have allowed small-time gun dealers to make sales without conducting background checks.

Monday night, senior administration officials outlined the actions the president is announcing.

They say the steps will address flaws and close loopholes for background checks and, it is hoped, help keep guns out of the wrong hands.

In his first remarks of 2016, President Obama... 01:20

After months of review, Mr. Obama officially received recommendations on gun control during an Oval Office meeting Monday with FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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

Republican presidential candidates spoke out ... 02:12

Among the actions:

-- requiring gun dealers who sell firearms on the Internet and at gun shows to be licensed and conduct background checks

-- changing a federal privacy rule to help keep people with mental health restrictions from possessing guns

-- asking Congress to approve funding for 200 additional agents and investigators at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Exposives

-- and hiring more than 230 more FBI employees to help process background checks

The FBI processed more than 23 million background checks for firearm sales in 2015, the highest total in the program's history.

Republican White House hopefuls condemned Mr. Obama's actions even before the details were released.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said, "Of course it's an overreach."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said, "Executive actions are designed to implement law, designed to help the implementation of law, not to undermine the law or to ignore it."

And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz observed, "He can abuse his power all he wants. He has a phone and he has a pen. But if you live by the pen, you die by the pen. And my pen has got an eraser."

Quietly, some gun control advocates are saying these moves don't go far enough, but publicly, they were quick to applaud the president for moving forward in the face of congressional inaction.

On Capitol Hill, GOP leaders have already vowed to block funding for as much of the president's plan as possible.

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