US President Donald Trump has stunned lawmakers from both parties by telling them in a live broadcast not to be so “petrified” of the powerful gun lobby the National Rifle Association (NRA).
In a break from his party’s stance on gun control, Trump urged lawmakers to come up with a “strong” reform bill.
He suggested expanding background checks for gun buyers and raising the legal age to buy rifles to 21 from 18.
His comments come in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida.
“I want you to come up with a strong bill – and really strong on background checks,” Trump told lawmakers at the White House, pushing them to work together on bipartisan legislation.
He said the NRA has “great power over you people,” but that the lobby has “less power over me”.
Trump’s change of tack on gun control left Republicans “a bit unsettled,” CNN reported.
The Republican party supports the right of individuals to own guns, seeing most restrictions as an infringement of the second amendment to the US constitution, which governs the right to bear arms.
Source: Oman News Agency