It's possible that one of those topics could be gun control after last week's movie theater shooting that left a 12 dead and dozens more wounded in Aurora, a Denver suburb.

The second debate will be held Oct. 16 at New York's Hofstra University, and will be a town-hall style meeting where swing voters will be allowed to ask candidates about either foreign policy or domestic issues.

The presidential debates will conclude Oct. 22 with a seated discussion at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. That debate will focus exclusively on foreign policy issues.

The vice presidential debate will be held Oct. 11 at Kentucky's Centre College, and touch on both foreign and domestic issues.

Organizers said they believed the debate formats would allow for a substantive discussion of major issues — especially the new 15 minute blocs on single issues, which should allow for a more detailed discussion than traditionally occurs.

"There are serious issues facing this country and the public has the right to expect a serious examination of those issues during this fall's debates," the  Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement. "The CPD believes this can be accomplished best by focusing big time blocks on major domestic and foreign topics."