Trump says NRA's views should be 'respected' as Congress weighs gun action

WASHINGTON, Aug 9 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday said he has been speaking with the National Rifle Association to ensure that the gun lobby's "very strong views" are considered as congressional leaders weigh possible gun legislation after two weekend mass shootings.

Trump also said serious discussions between the leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate were taking place over expanding background checks for guns sales after 31 people were killed in the attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The NRA, a key donor to many Republican senators, indicated in a statement on Thursday that it opposed any further gun restrictions.

Trump said on Twitter on Friday that he had "been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected."

Trump's tweets did not make clear what specific steps he would support.

" I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country," he wrote. "Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone."

The two weekend massacres have shocked the country and reopened a national debate on gun safety as Americans grapple with yet another mass shooting.

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Trump and Pence attend NRA annual meeting
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Trump and Pence attend NRA annual meeting
U.S. President Donald Trump makes a fist as he addresses the National Rifle Association (NRA) Convention in Dallas, Texas U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (R) and Wayne LaPierre, executive VP of the NRA, applaud from the stage at a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S. May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A page of notes is seen in U.S. President Donald Trump's hand as he speaks at a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S. May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A man takes aim with a Taurus revolver at the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) meeting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
U.S. President Donald Trump greets executive vice president of the NRA Wayne LaPierre and Donald Trump Jr. at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Convention in Dallas, Texas U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures before he speaks at a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S. May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Attendees sing the national anthem at a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S. May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North speaks during the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum during the NRA annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Friday, May 4, 2018. President�Donald Trump�delivered a strong sign of support for the National Rifle Association at its annual meeting on Friday, as gun-rights advocates regroup in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump arrives speak at the NRA's annual convention on May 4, 2018 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S. May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, speaks during the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum during the NRA annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Friday, May 4, 2018. President�Donald Trump�delivered a strong sign of support for the National Rifle Association at its annual meeting on Friday, as gun-rights advocates regroup in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum during the NRA annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Friday, May 4, 2018. Trump�delivered a strong sign of support for the National Rifle Association at its annual meeting on Friday, as gun-rights advocates regroup in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees walk past a sign at the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) meeting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the National Rifle Association (NRA) Convention in Dallas, Texas U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Executive vice president of the NRA Wayne LaPierre and Donald Trump Jr. attend the National Rifle Association (NRA) Convention in Dallas, Texas U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump (L), is applauded by NRA executive director Chris Cox and NRA executive VP Wayne LaPierre (R), after speaking at a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S. May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
People listen as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has rejected a plea from more than 200 mayors to call the Senate back early from recess to consider gun legislation.

A day earlier, Trump said he wanted to strengthen background checks for gun purchases and make sure mentally ill people did not carry guns. He predicted congressional support for those two measures, but not for any effort to ban assault rifles. (Reporting by Susan Heavey Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Bill Trott)

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