Barack Obama has said Americans must “come together” to find a way to stop devastating gun violence like the mass shooting last week at an Oregon college.
The US President spent an hour in private meetings with victims’ families on Friday during a visit to Roseburg.
Eight students and a teacher were murdered at Umpqua Community College by 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer, who later turned the gun on himself.
“There are going to be moments as we go forward where we have to come together and figure out how we stop this from happening, said the President.
“I have very strong feelings because when I talk to these families, you’re reminded that this could be your child, your mum, your relative or your friend.”
Pro-gun supporters turned out at the airport to protest against the President’s call for tighter firearms laws.
They carried signs that read “Obama Go Home” and “Gun Free Zones Are For Sitting Ducks”.
Demonstrator George Starr said: “By coming here, Obama is going to politicise a tragedy by saying that you have to have gun control.
“It’s not that we are bloodthirsty, it’s that we want to protect ourselves and our families.”
Many residents in the mostly conservative community were angered by the President’s comments made within hours of the 1 October shooting.
In his remarks last week, the President said he would continue to raise the need for gun control reform every time a shooting takes place in the US.
“As I said just a few months ago, and I said just a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” he said.
He added that “inaction” on gun control legislation makes all Americans “answerable” for the violence.