US President Barack Obama has pledged to "vigorously pursue …sensible" controls on guns, including an assault weapons ban, a month after a school massacre traumatised America, but questioned whether tough new laws could pass Congress.
Obama said that Vice-President Joe Biden had now delivered "common sense" reform recommendations after meeting gun control advocates, firearms lobby groups, mental health experts and software and movie industry officials. The president said he would lay out his response to the American people later in the week, but backed a renewal of a ban on assault weapons, curbs on high-capacity magazines and better background checks for gun owners.
"My starting point is not to worry about the politics. My starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works. What should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe?" Obama said at a White House press conference.
His comments came as grieving relatives of some of the 20 children gunned down in their classes in Newtown, Connecticut, marked the one-month milestone since the massacre.