Tuesday, April 27, 1999 Published at 23:06 GMT 00:06 UK
Clinton plans new gun controls
Columbine students remember their murdered schoolfriends
President Clinton has unveiled proposals for new gun controls in the wake of the Colorado high school shootings.
Mr Clinton faces opposition from senior figures in his own Democratic party, as well as from the Republicans. Opponents point to the Second Amendment of the US constitution which enshrines the legal right to bear arms.
He said that if his proposed laws are passed future generations would look on today's gun control system as "unthinkable" comparing it to air travel without anti-terrorist measures.
Twelve students and a teacher were killed last week at Columbine High School, Denver, by two teenagers armed with guns and home-made bombs.
It was the latest in a series of high-profile shootings at US schools.
Mr Clinton also wants restrictions on people buying guns at gun shows and background checks on people buying explosives.
BBC Washington Correspondent Paul Reynolds says the proposals are not seen as radical but there is considerable opposition in Congress to more controls.
Mr Clinton will also face considerable opposition from the National Rifle Association, a powerful lobby which fights for the rights of gun owners.
Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who represents South Dakota, where guns are popular among ranchers and sportsmen, was sceptical about passing any new restrictions.
Some gun supporters even want teachers armed as a deterrent and as a means of returning fire with fire.
Mr Clinton's gun law proposals also included child safety locks on all guns sold and a lifetime ban on gun ownership for juveniles who commit violent crimes.