In his daily briefing with reporters, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama "firmly supports reinstatement" of the 1994 ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004.
"He understands that these issues are difficult, that achieving them will not be easy, but he is committed to pressing forward on them and to enlisting the support of lawmakers in both the House and the Senate of both parties in the effort," Carney said.
"As for the assault weapons ban, in particular, I think he said on Sunday and I know he believes that this needs to come to a vote," Carney said. "The American people actually, by most polls, support passage of the assault weapons ban. The president certainly does, and he believes it should come to a vote."
Asked if the president would still support pressing the issue even if it puts congressional Democrats in a difficult political position, Carney said: "I think he thinks that the American people, understandably, expect Congress to vote on these important matters, to vote yes or no. And he would hope that the Senate has an opportunity to do that."