As part of his push for stricter gun control, U.S. President Barack Obama met Monday with police officials from towns and cities where deadly shooting rampages took place.
Before the start of the White House meeting, President Obama said cooperation with Congress is needed to pass the reforms he says are necessary to protect communities and keep the nation's children safe.
Mr. Obama began calling for increased gun control after a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December, killing 20 children and six adults. Law enforcement officers from Newtown were at the meeting.
Monday, the president said "serious laws" are needed to restrict the availability of assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips. He called for background checks for all gun purchases, and said attention must focus on mental health and school safety.
Monday's meeting came two days after thousands of supporters of gun rights -- some carrying their weapons -- gathered at state capitals across the country to promote gun rights. On the same day, thousands of people marched in Washington, calling for stricter regulations on gun sales.
President Obama says his administration is taking "a series of steps" to protect America's children from gun violence, including strengthening the existing system of background checks for potential gun buyers, and pressing for research on ways to reduce gun violence.