"Our hearts are still heavy with sadness after the tragedy in Colorado, but we need to start today on efforts to prevent the next attack," Lautenberg said in a statement Sunday. "We should begin by passing my legislation to ban the sale of high-capacity gun magazines."
But it is unclear if enough of Lautenberg's colleagues will join with him to make action possible by the end of the current session. Leadership from Congress up through the White House has not voiced a strong, new desire to focus on gun control.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a gun control advocate, on Friday called on Mitt Romney and Barack Obama to make clear their plans to stymie gun violence in the wake of the shooting. Both candidates spoke out about the tragedy but have not used it to foment a new discussion about the issue.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a gun control supporter, said on "Fox News Sunday" that she doesn't believe the middle of an election year is a good time to renew the issue. "It's a bad time to embrace a new subject," Feinstein said.
Whether the presidential candidates are interested in speaking about gun control or not, they will likely have to address it on Oct. 3. That's the date of the first presidential debate of the general election. The venue? Denver, Colo.