THE parents of a Hampshire schoolboy who was one of 20 children shot dead at a US school have called for action over the deaths.

In their first public appearance following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut where six-year-old Dylan Hockley was a pupil, his parents joined others to launch a pressure group named Sandy Hook Promise.

Nicole and Ian Hockley, who lived in Eastleigh with their sons Dylan and eight-year-old Jake before moving to the US, joined other parents all carrying photos of their children as they launched the group at a press conference.

The group is calling for an open minded discussion to 'make our communities and our nation a safer, better place.'

Mr Hockley fought back tears as his wife Nicole spoke at the launch.

“There is no quick-fix single action but instead a multitude of interlinked actions that are needed,” she said.

A month on from the tragedy, Sandy Hook Promise said they wanted to see debates on a range of issues including guns, mental health and safety in schools and other public places.

President Barack Obama has endorsed controversial bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as stricter background checks for gun buyers.

But he admitted he may not win the approval of all in a Congress reluctant to tighten restrictions.

Mr Obama said politicians would have to ''examine their own conscience'' as they tackle gun control legislation after the horrifying Connecticut school shootings last month.

The influential National Rifle Association (NRA) and other pro-gun groups are fiercely opposed to tighter laws.

Meanwhile New York state politicians have agreed the first and toughest gun control laws in the nation.

The landmark legislation is a crackdown on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and includes measures to keep the mentally ill from guns.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made gun control a centrepiece to his progressive agenda in his State of the State address last week.

The measure passed the state Senate 43-18 early today and the Assembly plans to take the issue up today. It is expected to pass easily.

Politicians in New York state pressed ahead with their proposals despite the opposition of pro-gun campaign groups.