(Washington, DC) -- President Obama is calling for sweeping changes in gun safety laws following the school shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. In a White House event, Obama announced 23 executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence. He also urged Congress to pass legislation on universal background checks for gun purchases. Calling gun violence an epidemic in the U.S., Obama asked for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips. The President argued that sensible gun regulations can be approved without violating constitutional protections on gun ownership.