Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Wednesday shooting at Fort Hood made him wish that Congress would pass expanded background checks for gun purchases.
"As I was told today, this young man bought this gun a day or two before he killed these people," Reid said. "Couldn't we at least have background checks so that people who are ill mentally or felons shouldn't be able to buy a gun? Even members, the majority of them, support that."
Reid could bring such a bill back to the floor this year.
"I would like to bring it back up; we need some more votes," he said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney also reiterated a call for Congress to pass "common sense" background check legislation, but was careful not to tie it to the Fort Hood shooting itself.
Last April, the Senate voted on a bipartisan bill to expand background checks, but the measure fell six votes short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. The measure was negotiated by Sens Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., and Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa.