Leading United States Republicans have denounced President Barack Obama’s move to tighten gun controls.

House of Representatives Speaker, Paul Ryan, said the executive orders, which bypass Congress, “undermined liberty” and would be challenged in court.

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said that, if elected, he would reverse the measures.

In an emotional address on Tuesday, Mr. Obama accused the gun lobby of holding the country hostage, the BBC reports.

Wiping away tears, he recalled the 2012 Sandy Hook primary school shooting in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

President Obama’s executive actions involve:

Background checks for all gun sellers, overturning current exemptions to some online and gun show sellers.

States providing information on people disqualified from buying guns due to mental illness or domestic violence.

Increased workforce for the FBI to process background checks, hiring more than 230 new examiners.

Congress being asked to invest $500m (£339m) to improve access to mental healthcare in the U.S.

The departments of defence, justice and homeland security exploring “smart gun technology” to improve gun safety.

He previously told the BBC that the failure to tackle gun control had been the greatest frustration of his presidency.

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