Obama presses his gun proposals in Minnesota

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February 4, 2013, 3:52 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Danielle Leigh, Minneapolis) - President Obama took his gun control campaign on the road Monday,  visiting Minneapolis, a city that's had success addressing gun violence.

The President has called for universal background checks for gun sales, an assault weapons ban and limits to high-capacity magazines.

And he's found as pressure from voters increases -- often so does action on Capitol Hill.

"If there is even one thing we can do - if there is just one life we can save - we have an obligation to try," the President said Monday.

The Minnesota capital -- once dubbed "Murder-apolis" -- brought its crime rate to a 30-year low in 2011.

After launching several initiatives targeting high risk teens.

"We still need common sense law changes in Washington,"  said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Still, in a roundtable discussion,  Rybak told the President he needs help.

President Obama wants lawmakers to pass universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and limits to high capacity magazines.

"We don't have to agree on everything - to agree it's time to do SOMETHING."

Obama wants Congress to act while memories of the Newtown school massacre remain fresh.

"The President's advisers are making the argument that the political landscape changed since Newtown,” said Alex Bolton, senior staff writer at The Hill newspaper. “This campaign around the country will test that theory."

Quinnipiac University recently polled voters in three states- Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Jersey.  Ninety percent said they support wider background checks.

Democratic leader Sen. Harry Reid  -- a gun control hold out -- got behind background checks. He said the Senate will likely introduce a gun bill next month.

Still, that's no guarantee of progress.

Conservative lawmakers and the gun lobby still oppose any new gun laws.

This trip is expected to be the first of several the president makes to further his gun control campaign.

He is also calling for greater access to mental health care and increased support for local police.

Tags: minnesota, Barack Obama, president, sandy hook elementary school, gun proposal, school shootings
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