A teenage boy is being questioned after he apparently shot dead two adults and three children inside a home in the US state of New Mexico.

The youth, who has not yet been named and is 15, was arrested at a house near Albuquerque and faces murder and other charges in connection with the shootings on Saturday night, a Bernalillo County sheriff's spokesman said.

The victims' identities have not been released, and the boy's motive and connection to the five victims were not immediately known.

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One of the weapons used was a semi-automatic military-style rifle.

The shooting came after pro-gun activists staged "high noon" rallies on Saturday to defend the right to own firearms that they say is being threatened by President Barack Obama's gun-control proposals. He has pledged a raft of measures to tighten gun laws following the mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, in mid-December that killed 20 children and six adults.

On the day the pro-gun rights rallies were being held, five people were wounded in accidents at three gun shows.

Three people were hurt when a 12-gauge shotgun discharged as its owner opened its case at the entrance to a show in North Carolina. Two others were wounded when guns went off accidentally at gun shows in Ohio and Indiana.