In an article published before pressing his case in a prime time forum, Obama said he would blackball even members of his own Democratic party if necessary.

That list could include Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who voted against gun reform in 2013.

Obama later appeared in a town-hall style forum to challenge critics who he said have 'mischaracterised' his position.

The appearance came after Obama announced executive measures regulating the sale and purchase of weapons, bypassing Congress. He also challenged America's most prominent pro-gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, for not taking part in the event.

Earlier this week a tearful Obama said unilateral measures were needed to tackle US gun violence.

Flanked by survivors of the violence that kills around 30,000 Americans every year and relatives of some of those killed, Obama became emotional as he remembered 20 elementary school children shot dead three years ago in Newtown, Connecticut.

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