President Obama vowed Thursday during a press conference in Mexico City that the White House would continue pushing for an expansion of background checks to cover firearms purchases online and at gun shows.
"Things happen somewhat slowly in Washington. But this was just the first round," Obama said. "I believe we'll eventually get that done. We'll keep on trying."
Obama added that he was heartened by the response from victims of gun violence, including those affected in Newtown, Conn., by the late December massacre there. Earlier this week, the daughter of the slain principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School confronted Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyottePoll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Sununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate MORE (R-N.H.) at a town-hall meeting to challenge the lawmaker over her vote against the background check bill.
"Frankly, what I'm most moved by are the victims of gun violence not just in Mexico but back home," Obama said.
He went on to argue that gun control was also important to prevent the trafficking of firearms across the border, where American-bought arms helped fuel Mexico's bloody drug wars.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto also urged the United States to adopt stronger gun laws, while acknowledging it was a "domestic issue."
"If Mexico could add itself up to the important sector of the U.S. population, 90 percent [that support expanding background checks], we would do it," Nieto said.
But the Mexican president also pledged that his country was "not waiting until that happens," promising stronger border patrol and policing efforts.