President Obama took his gun control campaign on the road Monday.
Mr. Obama visited Minneapolis, a city that's had success addressing gun violence.
"If there is even one thing we can do - if there is just one life we can save - we have an obligation to try," he said.
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.
In a roundtable discussion, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. 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," the president said.
Mr. Obama wants Congress to act while memories of the Newtown school massacre remain fresh.
Quinnipiac University recently polled voters in three states- Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Jersey.
90 percent said they support wider background checks.
Democratic leader Senator Harry Reid, a gun control hold out, supports background checks and says the Senate will likely introduce a gun bill next month.
But 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.