President Joe Biden will address the US gun violence epidemic Tuesday when he signs an order tightening background checks on firearms customers at an event in Monterey Park, California, where 11 people were gunned down in January.
The White House said Biden, whose Democratic Party has not been able to overcome Republican resistance to more meaningful gun control laws, will "grieve with the families and community impacted" in the mass shooting.
A sole gunman shot dead 11 people from the local Asian community in the Los Angeles suburb during their Lunar New Year celebrations.
Of several measures being announced by Biden, the most consequential will be an executive order seeking to tighten rules on background checks.
Polls show overwhelming popular support for a blanket rule requiring that anyone purchasing a firearm is checked for a criminal record.
However, Republicans in Congress argue this impinges on the constitutional right to own weapons and should be left up to individual states to decide.
Currently, only federally licensed dealers -- responsible for less than half of gun sales -- are required to run background checks.
Biden's order will direct the attorney general to clamp down on those vendors failing to carry out the checks and also to clarify who qualifies as a dealer.
The measure, while incremental, "would mean fewer guns will be sold without background checks, and therefore fewer guns will end up in the hands of felons and domestic abusers," the White House said.
Within his limited powers, Biden intends to move "the US as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation," the White House said.