POSTED: Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 12:12pm
UPDATED: Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 9:36am
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Honoring police officers at the White House on Saturday, President Barack Obama made another call on Congress to enact tough restrictions on guns.
At the annual "Top Cops" event in the East Room, Obama said the nation needs new "common sense" laws that could make it "harder for dangerous criminals to get their hands on lethal weapons."
The new laws would help protect police officers like the ones being honored Saturday, Obama said.
"If top cops can risk their lives to do their jobs, the rest of us should just be able to summon some tiny fraction of courage and the same sense of responsibility," he said. "And certainly, that applies for those of us responsible for supporting law enforcement and first responders here in Washington."
Obama's push for new gun laws met a serious obstacle in April when the Senate defeated a bipartisan measure that would have expanded background checks to gun shows and online sales.
Senators who opposed the measure have come under harsh criticism from gun control groups, and Obama and Senate Democrats have vowed to continue pushing for new rules.
At the event Saturday, Obama paid particular tribute to officers who rushed to help people after the Boston Marathon bombing in April, and who participated in the manhunt for the suspects several days later.
"These officers represent the best of us, and they deserve the best from us," the president said. "And that begins with being thankful to them not just today, but for the rest of their lives and recognizing the sacrifices not only they make, but their parents and spouses and kids who watch their loved ones go off and serve every day, knowing that there's real danger out there."