President Donald Trump has backed some gun regulation changes to stop school shootings and thinks Congress is "finally" in a mood to take action.
Whether lawmakers can muster enough support to pass any bill on gun rules remains to be seen.
Trump started to call for modest gun-control measures following the shooting massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school last week. As the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School pushed for tighter gun restrictions and families affected by school shootings tearfully urged the president to take some type of action, Trump publicly pushed for tweaks to gun rules.
"I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue - I hope!" the president tweeted on Thursday morning.
Trump, in his consideration of these measures, has tiptoed around the National Rifle Association, which supported him during the 2016 campaign. At an NRA convention in April, the president told the gun lobbying group: "You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you." He reiterated his support for the NRA repeatedly Thursday, calling its leaders "patriots."
At a school safety event with state officials later in the day, Trump said he told the NRA that the U.S. needs tighter gun rules. He said the organization supports the policies he backs.
"I spoke to them and they're ready to do things. They want to do things. … People like to blame them and they have power and all that, but they want to do things," Trump said.
"I told them, I said we're going to have to toughen them up," the president added. "Because it doesn't make anybody look good, and most importantly I saw the devastation in these families. We can't allow that to happen."
In the meeting with officials Thursday, Trump also reaffirmed his call to give guns to specially trained teachers in an effort to deter or shorten shootings. He mentioned what he considered other possible factors in mass shootings: violence in video games and movies and the closing of mental institutions.
Lawmakers have already introduced certain proposals Trump supports. Some of those policies have a better chance of passing Congress than others.