Hours after a mass school shooting in Connecticut, Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken said now is not the time to discuss reforming the nation's gun-control laws.

"This is the day for us to have the victims and their families in our hearts, in our prayers and in our thoughts," Franken said Friday.

The Minnesota senator was at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus to hear from residents about the potential impacts of the so-called fiscal cliff.

He began a news conference after the meeting by discussing the school shooting in which a gunman killed 20 elementary school children and six adults.

"This has been a very sad day," Franken said. "It's a horrific event and certainly every Minnesotans' prayers and thoughts are with the families and the friends of those who were killed or wounded, and those who are heeling from those wounds."