The White House on Thursday announced two executive actions that it says will close loopholes that allow the most dangerous types of firearms to fall into the wrong hands.
The new policies come as legislative action on gun control appears completely stalled in Congress after a compromise background check bill was defeated in the Senate in April.
The first regulation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would require background checks for guns registered to a trust or corporation. That action is intended to close a loophole that allowed felons and others who are prohibited from owning a firearm from bypassing the background check process, the White House said.
The second order will prevent the re-importation into the United States of military-grade firearms that have been provided to foreign allies.
The new head of the ATF, Todd Jones, was sworn in Thursday morning by Vice President Joe Biden, who called the new measures "common sense."
"If Congress doesn't act we'll fight for a new Congress," he added. "It's that simple. But we're going to get this done."
The two executive actions add to a set of 23 proposals to prevent gun violence that the administration released in January.