WH: Renewing assault weapons ban "a commitment" of Obama's

White House press secretary Jay Carney listens to a follow up question regarding the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., after he told reporters that President Barack Obama is receiving updates on the situation, Dec. 14, 2012, during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Updated 3:50 p.m. ET

After news broke about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that renewing the federal assault weapons ban "does remain a commitment of" the president's. However, he continued, "What I said is that today is not the day to, I believe, as a father a day to engage in the usual Washington policy debates. I think that that day will come, but today is not that day."

Carney said that Mr. Obama was first notified of the shooting at 10:30 a.m. by Homeland Security Adviser John Brennan. The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School this morning left 27 people dead, including at least 18 children ages five to 10 years old.

The president called Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, the governor's office said today, to express his condolences and pledge whatever resources the federal government can bring to bear to assist the families and the investigation. According to the White House, the president also spoke with FBI Director Robert Mueller about the incident, and the FBI providing support to state and local police.

Carney told reporters around noon that "it's certainly possible, if not likely, that the president will have something to say," in a written statement or otherwise.

"We are still waiting for more information about the incident in Connecticut," Carney said. "As we do, I think it's important, on a day like today, to view this as I know the president, as a father, does, and others who are parents certainly do: which is to feel enormous sympathy for those families affected and to do everything that we can to support state and local law enforcement and to support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event."