One of Virginia's voices in Congress took part in a gun control roundtable Friday at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Newly minted Senator Tim Kaine joined Vice President Joe Biden to offer his two cents on the issue. He hopes lawmakers will work across the aisle to address common concerns about gun safety.
"We may not be able to agree on everything," Kaine said, "but I'm definitely learning in Washington, just because you can't agree on everything doesn't mean you can't agree on anything."
Kaine still doesn't know what specific steps to take on gun safety, but says he will support additional restrictions on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. His Senate colleague, Democrat Diane Feinstein introduced a bill this week to ban certain weapons and magazines from sale.
"We're going to get input on those bills from stake holders to make sure they're defined the right way," Kaine said. "So I'm not ready to sign on to any particular piece of legislation right now."
Gun rights advocates maintain an assault weapons ban will not do anything to make the country safer, and say Democrats will have difficulty getting that idea through both houses of congress.
"While they're going to be pushing legislation like Senator Feinstein dropped yesterday, I think everybody agrees it's an uphill battle," Virginia Shooting Sports Association Legislative Committee Chairman David Adams said.
They have found some common ground, however. Both sides agree more needs to be done to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
"We don't want people who shouldn't have firearms to be able to get them," Adams said.
Kaine agrees, but says solving gun safety issues requires a multi-faceted approach.
"There are specific things you can do to reduce [gun violence]. Some deal with mental health, some deal with campus and school security, some deal with guns," Kaine said.
Kaine also wants to look more closely at universal background checks for private gun purchases, an idea that already died a quick death during the 2013 Virginia General Assembly session. Kaine, meanwhile, is hopeful the idea will have better traction on Capitol Hill.
Kaine, Biden Talk Gun Control at VCU RoundtableMore>>
Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science.Full Story
Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story