As Vice President Biden prepares to hand in a set of recommendations to curb gun violence next week and pro-gun groups dig in their heels, the vice president has put in play the possibility of using executive action to get controversial gun control measures on the books.

Analysts and political scholars tell that if the president goes through with his threat to circumvent Congress and issue executive orders, he is likely to face an expensive uphill legal battle – on the taxpayers’ dime.

But while pro-gun lobbyists have vowed to challenge President Obama’s constitutional authority on the issue, that doesn’t mean the president won’t attempt executive action. A unilateral move to ban assault weapons could be legally perilous, but analysts say there are other measures the president could at least attempt.