The regulations range from new restrictions on high-powered pistols to gun storage requirements. Chief among them is a renewed effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable or have been convicted of domestic abuse.
Gun safety advocates have been calling for such reforms since the Sandy Hook school shooting nearly three years ago in Newtown, Conn. They say keeping guns away from dangerous people is of primary importance.
But the gun lobby contends that such a sweeping ban would unfairly root out a number of prospective gun owners who are not a danger to society.
"It's clear President Obama is beginning his final assault on our Second Amendment rights by forcing his anti-gun agenda on honest law-abiding citizens through executive force," said Luke O'Dell, vice president of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights.