The U.S. surgeon general on Tuesday issued a landmark advisory declaring gun violence a "public health crisis" and calling for wide-ranging firearm controls that have historically been quashed by stiff political opposition.

The advisory by Vivek Murthy, who was nominated by President Joe Biden, is the first such major report on gun violence from a surgeon general, whose office has limited authority but plays a significant public role in health issues.

A similar report on tobacco in the 1960s was a key first step to altering the perception of the substance's danger, ultimately leading to new regulations and a steep decline in consumption.