US President Barack Obama has suggested people who defend easy access to assault weapons should meet the families of those killed in the Orlando massacre.

President Obama visited the families of the victims of the shooting in gay nightclub Pulse, in which 49 people were killed after Omar Mateen opened fire on 12 June.

Both Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden visited Orlando on 16 June, placing roses at a memorial for the people killed in the attack, and later meeting those who lost their loved ones in the shooting.

"Those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon," said Obama in comments reported by ABC News.

"The motives of this killer may have been different than the mass killers in Aurora, or Newtown. But the instruments of death were so similar. Now another 49 innocent people are dead. Another 53 are injured. Some are still fighting for their lives."

He later added: "The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense. Those who defend the easy accessibility to assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense."

His comments come as gun control is once again under the spotlight following what is the deadliest shooting in recent US history.

The president also spoke out in praise of the Senate, which said it was take a vote on whether to ban people on the terrorist watch list from being able to buy guns.