Instead of a mass gun round-up or even finding ways to extend existing gun restrictions through clever legal maneuvering, Obama didn’t even sign a single paper with the dreaded “executive order” label. The closest he got were three “presidential memoranda.” …

The moves include improving background checks by adding more federal agency data to the system, increasing prosecution of gun crime and nominating a permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Few of the actions looked like they would have immediate effect. Several called for studies or the development of legal or policy guidance to distribute to schools or state government. Some of the proposals, like adding more federal data to the background-check system and launching a “safe and responsible gun ownership campaign,” have actually been endorsed by gun advocates.

There’s not even much that could generate a legal challenge, said Richard Gardiner, an attorney for gun rights causes who said he looked for one on Obama’s lengthy roster of executive actions.