Seven-round .45-calibre handguns are seen at Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale, New York. President Barack Obama proposed a new assault weapons ban and mandatory background checks for all gun buyers.

Washington - The main gun lobby in the United States savaged President Barack Obama's plans to combat gun violence on Wednesday, saying “attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution”.

“Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy,” the National Rifle Association (NRA) said in a statement after Obama announced a series of sweeping gun control measures.

Obama demanded a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and universal background checks for gun buyers, setting up a major clash with the powerful firearms lobby in the wake of last month's Newtown school massacre, which claimed the lives of 20 small children and six adults.

The NRA, a steadfast opponent of tighter regulations for gun owners, dismissed such moves but said it would continue to lead efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership.

“Keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority,” it said in the statement.

“The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law,” it said.

“We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America's most valuable asset - our children.”

Rather than make it more difficult for people to get weapons, the NRA has proposed putting an armed guard in every school. - Sapa-AFP