(CNN) - Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy called for federal legislators to act on gun control legislation in the wake of shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and said laws could have been in place which may have prevented this shooting.
"Do I think Washington, D.C., needs to get its act together and enact stricter gun control laws at the federal level?" he asked. "You bet I do."
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Speaking at a press conference in the state's capitol, the Connecticut Democrat said he was encouraged by President Barack Obama's comments on the matter.
"These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true," Obama said at a vigil in Newtown, Connecticut Sunday night. "No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this."
A White House official said the president had discussions with Vice President Joe Biden, some members of his cabinet, and seniors White House staffers about how the country can respond to the tragedy. The cabinet members included Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Malloy said, "The public policy debate is already playing out at the national level and if Connecticut or I can be a voice of assistance in that matter, we are as Connecticut citizens [and] I as the governor, prepared to enter that debate as well. But my focus right now is on helping our community and our state get through this very terrible and difficult time."
He expressed the need for both further legislation and more "from a mental health perspective to reach out to kids and families who are obviously in trouble."
Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Malloy told chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, "One can only hope that we'll find a way to limit these weapons that really only have one purpose."
- CNN's Gregory Wallace and Ashley Killough contributed to this report