U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says the issue of gun violence requires "immediate" and "urgent" action.
Biden spoke Wednesday at a meeting in Washington with gun safety groups, and survivors and family members of victims of gun violence, as part of three days of talks on finding a response to the issue.
The vice president says he and President Barack Obama are "determined to take action" and are looking into a variety of responses, including legislation and executive orders.
The White House says the president wants Congress to impose tighter restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and close the loophole in the background check system.
Biden will meet Thursday with gun owners and the National Rifle Association, the nation's largest gun owners' group. Gun advocates are wary of any government actions they say might infringe on their constitutional right to own guns.
The governor of the state of New York, Andrew Cuomo, however, is pushing for tougher state gun laws, a ban on military-style weapons and the sale of large capacity magazines.
A mass shooting in December, in which 20 children and six adults were killed at an elementary school, re-ignited the heated debate on gun control in the United States.
Following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama selected Biden to lead an effort to write by the end of January a concrete set of proposals to address gun violence.