After meeting with victims of gun violence, gun rights groups, law enforcement officials and others a task force created by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi presented fifteen principles it aimed to convert into legislation soon. The group also said Congress should ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and require universal background checks for anyone purchasing firearms.
The other recommendations included strengthening the current background check database, restoring federal funding for research into ways to reduce gun violence, improving mental health resources, and improving school safety.
Mike Thompson, a Vietnam veteran and self described gun owner, chaired the group and stressed "I'm not interested in giving up my guns and I'm not asking anyone else to give up their guns."
After a gunman killed 20 elementary school children and six school officials in Newtown, Connecticut in December, President Obama, who did not press for any gun control measures in his first term, took up the issue and vowed to make new restrictions on guns and ammunition a top priority.
But those Democrats representing rural states and facing difficult re-election campaigns are reluctant to take a vote on the assault weapons ban, when that measure isn't likely to pass in the Republican controlled House, or even come up for a vote.
House Speaker John Boehner has said he doesn't have any plans to bring any measures up for a vote in the House of Representatives until the Senate acts first.
Pelosi sidestepped a question at a press conference on Thursday about the chances of Congress ever voting on the assault weapons ban, saying she wanted "the boldest possible package," and argued "the American people are way ahead of Congress on this issue."
Even some Democrats on the gun violence task force say it's more likely that Congress can only get enough support to pass measures beefing up the background check system and limiting the amount of rounds of ammunition in a single magazine.
Obama, who addressed the House Democrats on Thursday, mentioned the issue in his opening remarks, encouraging Democrats to take steps "to end the cycle of gun violence in this country."