Vice President Joe Biden delivered an impassioned and at times emotional plea to House Democrats to rally around the Obama administration’s gun-control proposals, telling lawmakers they can’t rely on political excuses for inaction.

“I’m not asking you to vote for something you don’t believe, but I don’t want to hear about, ‘well we can’t take it on because it’s too politically dangerous.’ The world has changed,” Biden said in a 25-minute address to Democrats at their annual retreat in Leesburg, Va.

Biden argued that the political and media climate had shifted dramatically from 1994, when many Democrats blamed their support for an assault weapons ban and other gun-control measures on the party’s loss of its congressional majorities.

“There’s an overwhelming consensus about the need to act that didn’t exist in ’94 and a general consensus about the kinds of thing we have to do,” Biden said.