Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz said he thinks Congress could act relatively soon on legislation aimed at preventing gun violence following the school shooting in Connecticut last week.
Walz, a Democrat and member of the National Rifle Association, said it's possible to strike a balance between gun ownership rights and protecting society.
"Certainly I think we all agree that you may never stop all of these but to not try is unconscionable, and so I think there's reasons to be hopeful," he said on The Daily Circuit Dec. 20. "This is not like anything that I've seen since I've been here in terms of a seriousness and a respect for one another in the debate. I think maybe we'll move away from those extreme positions."
Walz hasn't committed to any specific changes but said he's open to considering an assault weapons ban and limits on ammunition clips. He says tougher background checks are also worth looking at.
President Barack Obama has asked a task force to come up with proposals by January. The NRA is expected to make its views known at a news conference on Friday.
"I'm hoping tomorrow that they, as so many lawful and responsible and legal gun owners have said, [agree] that you can strike a balance between having the right to own a firearm, using it responsibly, but still making sure that society is protected," Walz said.
Elizabeth Dunbar contributed to this report.