“All of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul searching to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence,” Obama said at an Oval Office ceremony to sign an unrelated bill.

But he added, “As I’ve already said, there are a lot of elements involved in it.” The Democratic president has made a point of emphasizing his support for the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which covers the right to bear arms.

White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated, however, that Obama remained in favor of renewing an assault weapons ban but pointed out “there has been reluctance by Congress” to pass it.