US President Barack Obama has said he wants common-sense measures to control guns, following last week’s cinema shooting that killed 12 people.
Mr Obama pledged to work with members of both political parties and civic organisations to reach a consensus on the matter, but gave no details.
Mitt Romney, his Republican rival for the presidency, said changing US gun laws would not prevent such tragedies.
James Holmes, 24, is being held over the shooting at the cinema in Aurora.
According to US media reports, Mr Holmes sent a notebook describing a massacre to a psychiatrist at his university.
Debate around gun control has featured very little during the US presidential campaign which has mainly focused on the economy, correspondents say.
In a speech to the National Urban League, an African-American group in New Orleans, Mr Obama said he believed even most gun owners would agree “that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of children”.
“I believe the majority of gun owners would agree we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons. And we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller.
“A mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily. These steps shouldn’t be controversial. They should be common sense.”
Mr Obama referred to a pattern of calling for tougher gun restrictions in the wake of violent crimes, but not following through.
“Too often, those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying, and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere.”
In a TV interview in London, where he is attending the Olympics at the beginning of a foreign trip, Mr Romney said he did not believe that America needed new gun laws.
“A lot of what this young man did was clearly against the law. But the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening,” he said.
Officials have said the guns and ammunition used in the Colorado shootings were bought legally.
A campaign spokesman said Mr Romney was referring to explosive devices found in the cinema massacre suspect’s apartment.
*Article by BBC*