Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards and police chiefs from Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., met with President Barack Obama Monday to discuss gun violence.
Obama is drawing attention to the worst shootings of 2012 as the administration pushes a package of gun reform proposals.
Edwards told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the president's reforms likely would not have changed the events of Aug. 5, when a white supremacist killed six Oak Creek Sikh temple members. Gunman Wade Michael Page purchased a 9-millimeter handgun legally prior to the shooting and was not barred from owning it.
But in a shooting at an Oak Creek hotel in 2004, the gunman was a felon armed with an automatic weapon. Felons are prohibited from possessing a gun.
"We have to start somewhere. Someone in the meeting said 'how can we as Americans not do anything?'" Edwards told the newspaper. "We have to put things in place so they don't happen anymore."
Edwards said he wants a comprehensive way to trace ownership of guns, noting that car sellers must file paperwork after transferring ownership of vehicles, but gun sellers do not.
Oak Creek and other cities in which mass shootings took place have been in the center of a nationwide debate over how to address gun violence. Mayor Steve Scaffidi met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden Jan. 16.