The public outrage over the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School has elevated the once-dormant gun control debate to the point where President Barack Obama has called for stricter gun laws.

But that doesn't necessarily mean a bill will actually reach his desk.

The seeming pro-gun control consensus among Democrats will likely meet stiff resistance among Republicans.

The next leader of the House Judiciary Committee has already signaled opposition to new firearms restrictions, and gun control advocates may not - at least not yet - be strong enough to leverage public grieving over the shootings to push new gun controls through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

"I think the chances of something coming through the House are pretty good, but whether there is significant reform remains to be seen," University of Redlands political scientist Renee Van Vechten said. "We'll probably get symbolic legislation but probably not true reform."

Obama on Wednesday announced he has selected Vice President Joe Biden, author of a 1994 law that included a 10-year assault weapons ban, to lead a group charged with developing proposals for reducing gun violence.

Obama said he wants Biden's group to produce ideas no later than January.

Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, who was recently chosen as the next chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told Roll Call on Tuesday that he is not willing to pursue new laws such as banning assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, two cornerstones of the 1994 gun law that many Congressional Democrats want to re-enact.

Roll Call quotes Goodlatte as bluntly saying "gun control is not going to be something that I would support."