Biden turns to limited executive actions on gun control with Congress at a standstill | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Biden turns to limited executive actions on gun control with Congress at a standstill

President Joe Biden on Thursday will harness the powers of the presidency to advance a half-dozen executive actions on gun control, but they fall far short of the ambitious goals he outlined as a presidential candidate as the real fight still looms on Capitol Hill.

The executive actions are aimed at taking certain guns out of the hands of criminals and pouring resources into community violence prevention, and a senior administration official cautioned that Thursday's announcement is just an initial set of actions that the new President is taking. Their limited scope once again underscores Biden's broader challenge as he faces an evenly split US Senate.

The morning of Biden's planned announcement brought news of another tragedy, this time in South Carolina, where a local doctor and two children are among five killed in a mass shooting at a home in York County, according to authorities.

The President finds himself staring at a harsh reality: lasting gun control reforms can only be achieved if Democratic members of Congress find consensus -- not only through negotiations with their GOP colleagues but also within their own caucus, which has long been divided on this most fractious issue.

It is a policy area that has been at the top of the President's agenda for decades. His lifetime of work on gun control has been bookended by one of his most significant legislative achievements -- the 1994 assault weapons ban -- and one of his deepest disappointments, the failure of background check legislation following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.