MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota says he is rethinking his opposition to a ban on assault weapons after the Connecticut school massacre.

Walz tells the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/YikjK6) Tuesday that he remains a "proud" defender of gun rights. But he believes the gun lobby and other Second Amendment advocates are ready to show more flexibility following Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The Democratic congressman won a fourth term last month with the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.

Walz was one of 65 Democrats in the U.S. House who signed a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009 opposing any prospective moves by the Obama administration to ban assault weapons.

Walz stopped short of endorsing new efforts to ban assault weapons.