WASHINGTON: Putting fellow Republicans in the hot seat, President Donald Trump called for speedy and substantial changes to the nation’s gun laws on Wednesday, criticizing lawmakers in a White House meeting for being too fearful of the National Rifle Association to take action.

In a freewheeling, televised session that stretched for an hour, Trump rejected both his party’s incremental approach and its legislative strategy that has stalled action in Congress. Giving hope to Democrats, he said he favored a “comprehensive” approach to addressing violence like the shooting at a Florida school on Feb. 14, although he offered no specific details.

Instead, Trump appeared to support expanded background checks. He endorsed increased school security and mental health resources, and he reaffirmed his support for raising the age to 21 for purchasing some firearms. Trump also mentioned arming teachers, and said his administration, not Congress, would ban bump-stock devices that enable guns to fire like automatic weapons.

“We can’t wait and play games and nothing gets done,” Trump said as he opened the session with 17 House and Senate lawmakers. “We want to stop the problems.”

The president has previously backed ideas popular with Democrats, only to back away when faced with opposition from his conservative base and his GOP allies in Congress. It was not clear whether he would continue to push for swift and significant changes to gun laws, when confronted with the inevitable resistance from his party.

Still, the televised discussion allowed Trump to play the role of potential dealmaker, a favorite for the president. Democratic lawmakers made a point of appealing to the president to use his political power to persuade his party to take action.

“It is going to have to be you,” Sen. Chris Murphy told Trump.

Trump’s call for stronger background checks, which are popular among Americans, has been resisted by Republicans in Congress and the NRA. Republicans have instead been leaning toward modest legislation designed to improve the background system already in place. Trump made clear he was looking for more and accused lawmakers of being “petrified” of the gun lobby.

“Hey, I’m the biggest fan of the Second Amendment,” Trump said, adding that he told NRA officials it’s time to act. “We have to stop this nonsense.”

Democrats said they were concerned Trump’s interest may fade quickly. After the meeting, Murphy, D-Conn., told reporters: “I’m worried that this was the beginning and the end of the president’s advocacy on this issue. The White House has to put some meat on the bones. The White House has to send a proposal to Congress.”

The White House is expected to reveal more on the president’s plans for school safety this week, though it has not announced any plans.