President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks during a memorial service for the victims and relatives of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A citizen petition asking the White House to immediately press Congress for tighter restrictions on gun ownership has garnered more signatures than any other ever posted to the White House's website.
The petition, which was posted on the White House's We the People page, was filed soon after news broke about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday that left 28 people dead, including 20 children. More than 144,000 people had signed the petition as of 11:30 a.m. on Monday.
"The goal of this petition is to force the Obama administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns," said the petition posted by someone who identified himself as Brian G. "While a national dialogue is critical, laws are the only means in which we can reduce the number of people murdered in gun related deaths."
Petitions posted to We the People that receive more than 25,000 signatures are guaranteed a response from the Obama administration. The Obama administration started the page as a way for Americans to engage the White House and get answers.
On Sunday evening, President Obama said the tragedy in Newtown marked a moment for action.
"Can we honestly say we are doing enough to keep our children safe?" Obama said to mourners in Newtown at a memorial service. "Are we prepared to say such violence visited on our children year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?"
Already, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., has said that she will soon introduce legislation to restore the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.
Prior to the gun-control petition, a petition by Texas resident Micah Hurd calling on the White House to grant permission for the Lone Star state to peacefully secede from the union was the most popular posted on the site, receiving more than 120,000 signatures as of Monday morning.