Pope Francis on Wednesday said he was "heartbroken" over the school shooting in Texas that killed at least 19 children and two teachers and condemned the arms trade.
"I am left heartbroken by the massacre in the elementary school in Texas," the Argentine pontiff said after his weekly general audience.
"I pray for the children, for the adults killed and for their families. It is time to say enough to indiscriminate arms-trafficking. Let us all commit to ensuring such tragedies can no longer take place."
The attack in Uvalde, a small community about an hour from the Mexican border, was the deadliest US school shooting in years, and the latest in a spree of bloody gun violence across America.
More than a dozen children were wounded in the attack at the school, which teaches more than 500 mostly Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.
Later, in a telegram sent to the Archbishop of San Antonio, whose diocese includes Uvalde, Pope Francis said he was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy and expressed his "spiritual closeness" to all those affected.
He prayed that "those tempted to violence will choose instead the path of fraternal solidarity and love."