Donald Trump says he has told officials from the National Rifle Association that “it’s time” to strengthen US gun laws.
In the wake of public outrage over the Florida school shooting, the President says he told the powerful gun lobby during a recent lunch: “We’ve got to stop this nonsense.”
On Wednesday, as students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned to class, Mr Trump met a group of 17 representatives and senators at the White House.
Some are averse to gun control, while others want greater restrictions.
“We can’t wait and play games and nothing gets done,” Mr Trump said as he opened the session. “We want to stop the problems.”
The President has spoken approvingly of expanding background checks for people buying guns – a measure that has been resisted by the NRA and by Republicans in Congress.
He said he was the “biggest fan” of the Second Amendment but that he had told NRA officials “it’s time”, and that “we have to stop this nonsense”.
He is considering a rise in the legal age to buy a rife – from 18 to 21 – and has suggested prohibiting the sales of bump stocks, which turn rifles into automatic-style weapons.
Because Mr Trump’s campaign for office was backed by the NRA, he has been wary of alienating it.
Now, however, he is talking of a “bipartisan bill” on gun control.
“We’re going to come up with some ideas,” he said. “It would be so beautiful to have one bill that everybody can support.”
Two senators attending the meeting at the White House, Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Manchin, are promoting a bill to expand background checks. The same bill failed twice following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.
But, speaking on US TV, Mr Manchin said he thought the “mindset” had “changed”.
“We’re seeing a movement we’ve never seen before,” he told CBS’ This Morning. “The kids have spoken up… Corporate America has woken up.”
Student survivors of the Florida shooting have met politicians on Capitol Hill, while several companies have ended long-held customer discounts for NRA members.
A major US gun retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods, said on Wednesday that it would immediately end sales of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, and would not sell any guns to people under 21.