First, here is the list of the 23 so-called Executive Actions, as provided by the White House:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health-care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law-enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental-health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental-health-parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
The first few actions focus primarily on the president's priorities on background checks on gun sales.
After seeing the president's speech, aired live on January 16, Donna Bennett from American Gold Mine in St. Joseph says without actual new legislation, the way her store conducts background checks likely won't change.
"It's stopped a lot of felons from getting firearms already. It won't affect us or affect most gun dealers if they're already doing it correctly," Bennett said.
Bennett says her store does a background check on every gun sold to every customer every time.
"They fill out a form called a 4473 that has all the pertinent information: address, date of birth and several questions they have to answer," the store manager explains. "There's a division of the FBI that runs the person's name and information and will either proceed them immediately and they can purchase the gun and take it home that day. They can delay the process three days if they need to research it further."
Captain Matt Rock from the St. Joseph Police Dept. discusses the current process officers take when they seize guns at an arrest or crime scene:
"That officer will initially run a serial number through NCIC, the National Crime Information Center. The NCIC will give us a response back on whether or not that weapon has been reported stolen by serial number," Capt. Rock said.
Only if a gun has been reported stolen would it not be returned to someone lawfully allowed to carry a firearm.
The president's proposals were not Executive Orders, nor did they create any new laws.
And until the law changes, little will change about the guns people already own or the guns they are looking to buy.