PM: Gun reform raised at every meeting during US trip

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the most of just a few short hours on the ground in Washington DC today - although her visit still didn't include a trip to the White House.

Ardern met with lawmakers from both the Democrat and Republican parties, just one day after the deadliest mass shooting in America in the last decade.

The mass murder in Uvalde Texas left 19 children and two teachers dead.

The event prompted another round of calls for gun control amongst the political left - echoed in comments made by the Prime Minister's first engagement with Senator Jon Ossoff.

"We need to change," he said.

"We have to reform our laws to keep weapons out of the hands of killers."

But meaningful gun reform is a tall order in America, which values a Second Amendment right to bear arms and where politicians are paid handsomely by lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association.

One such recipient of goodwill was the Prime Minister's second meeting of the day - with Republican senator Mitt Romney.

"There are some reforms I support," he said.

Romney has been paid a total $21 million New Zealand dollars by the NRA.

READ MORE: Families mourn as Texas school shooting victims remembered

Ardern said the issue of legislative reform had come up at all her meetings.

"I was absolutely consistent with every person that I met with today and sharing New Zealand's experience and our perspective, that change is possible" she said.

The experience the Prime Minister referred to is the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attack in 2019, where 51 people were killed during two mosque attacks.

American politicians have used the event in advocating for tighter gun controls, but any legislation would require bipartisan support.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, has implored his Republican colleagues to accept reform.

"We are a nation suffocated by firearms," he told the Senate.

But still, there will be no change.