WASHINGTON - The senator leading the charge to revive a US assault weapons ban conceded on Sunday, just days before hearings on gun control open, that winning Senate passage will be tough but said she has been assured she will have the chance to bring it up for a vote.

US President Barack Obama, who has made gun control a top priority after 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman on December 14 at a Connecticut school, said in remarks published on Sunday that gun control advocates should take into account the views of rural Americans who use guns for hunting.

"Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas," Obama told The New Republic magazine as he continued his administration's outreach to gun owners even as he seeks new gun restrictions.

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