President Barack Obama says his administration has received an outpouring of support for stricter gun laws following last week’s elementary school massacre in Connecticut, telling respondents to an online petition, “We hear you.”

The President said in a video released Friday that he has been encouraged that many gun owners have said there are steps the nation can take to prevent more deadly shootings, “steps that both protect our rights and protect our kids.”

“I will do everything in my power as President to advance these efforts because if there’s even one thing we can do as a country to protect our children, we have a responsibility to try,” Mr Obama said.

Mr Obama was holding a moment of silence on Friday morning at the White House marking one week since the shooting that killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown. The National Rifle Association, the country’s foremost gun lobby, was holding a news conference on Friday in the aftermath of the shootings.

The President has challenged the NRA to “do some self-reflection” and join a broad effort to reduce gun violence. The organisation said Tuesday it would offer “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

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