Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stipulated Tuesday that responsible homeland security entails passing meaningful gun control reforms.
"I believe that meaningful, responsible gun control is part of homeland security and it’s something we have to address," Johnson said in an interview with CBS "This Morning," following Sunday's shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub that left 50 people dead, including the shooter, and 43 others injured.
Democrats are renewing calls to bar people on the terrorism watch list from purchasing weapons of war, such as the AR-15 used in the massacre. The Orlando gunman had also once been on a terrorist watch list.
Less than two weeks ago, President Barack Obama highlighted the potential for a tragedy like the Orlando shooting to happen, saying he couldn't limit access to firearms to people who have been placed on a no-fly list because of the influence of the National Rifle Association.
The most recent push to expand gun background checks -- which are widely supported by the general public -- failed in Congress in 2013 months after the Newtown elementary school shooting due to a Republican-led filibuster.