Trump 'supports improving background checks' amid increasing calls for action on gun control

Survivors of the Florida school shooting have been leading calls for more robust gun control

Trump 'supports improving background checks' amid increasing calls for action on gun control

Picture by: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/Press Association Images

The White House has indicated that Donald Trump supports 'improvements' to background checks for those purchasing guns.

It comes following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Wednesday, which left 17 people dead, including more than a dozen teenagers.

The shooting has prompted a major push by activists for new gun controls in the US, with survivors and students of the Florida school among those putting pressure on lawmakers to take action.

Student Emma Gonzalez drew international attention after her weekend speech criticising the National Rifle Association, President Donald Trump and others.

She said: "To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you" - a statement which drew supportive chants from the audience.

Survivors are also leading the efforts to organise a 'March for Our Lives' protest in Washington for March 24th, demanding politicians to prioritise the lives and safety of students.

Yesterday, other US teenagers staged a 'lie in' protest outside the White House in solidarity with those affected by the Florida shooting, and to call for action from legislators.

Picture by: Evan Vucci/AP/Press Association Images

Last year, a bipartisan group of senators, led by Republican John Cornyn of Texas, introduced legislation aimed at improving background checks for gun buyers - a move now seemingly supported by President Trump.

In a statement quoted by various US media outlets, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: "The president spoke to Senator Cornyn on Friday about the bipartisan bill he and Senator Murphy introduced to improve federal compliance with criminal background check legislation.

"While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system."

Addressing the nation in the wake of the shooting last week, President Trump did not address the issue of gun control - instead pledging to "tackle the difficult issue of mental health".

Over the weekend, he posted several tweets about gun control and the Florida shooting, including an attempt to blame Democrats for the lack of gun control measures.