“Considering the divide that exists in Congress, it took great leadership and courage on the part of President Barack Obama to make this executive decision. I hope this is a first step in spurring Congress into action to work on a comprehensive gun bill helps prevent the violence seen in our cities every single day, as well as massacres like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School and, more recently, the attack in San Bernardino, California.

“Strengthening background checks for purchasing guns and tightening the loopholes that exempt gun shows from background checks are two common sense approaches that can prevent people, such as those with a criminal past or those who have mental illnesses who should be denied access to such deadly weapons, from committing yet another mass murder that leaves us numb yet again.

“I want to thank President Obama for this bold step. Congress must follow his lead,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.