Donald Trump has promised the National Rifle Association (NRA) he will not ignore the gun lobby’s “strong views” about the right to bear arms in the official response to two recent mass shootings.
He said he has been talking with the NRA and other interest groups to ensure “very strong views can be fully represented and respected”.
The president said there are “common sense things can be done that are good for everyone” and “we must work together for the good and safety of our country”.
In a rare public statement NRA head Wayne LaPierre said some proposed gun control measures would make “millions of law-abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones”.
Mr Trump did not specifically say how the NRA’s hardline stance on gun rights could be reconciled with the push for new gun control measures.
He said House and Senate leaders are having “serious discussions” about background checks for gun buyers, and repeated guns “must not be placed in the hands of mentally ill or deranged people”.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has refused to call senators back from holidays early to deal with the gun control issue however he said he was “anxious to get an outcome”.
The conservative party has long opposed expanding background checks, however the shootings in El Paso and Dayton that left 31 people dead have increased pressure on Congress to make a change.