The White House has confirmed that Donald Trump will throw his support behind an improvement in background checks on gun ownership.

Following the deaths of 17 adults and children at a school in Florida last week, fresh calls have been voiced for a clampdown on gun controls.

In a statement, the White House said: "The President spoke to Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Friday about the bi-partisan bill he and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) introduced to improve Federal Compliance with Criminal Background check Legislation.

"While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system."

Reform to gun laws is heavily opposed by the powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has spent millions in funding presidential and congressional campaigns.

Last year, the president overturned an Obama-era regulation restricting certain people from buying guns.

Trump, during the 2016 presidential election campaign warned that the Second Amendment right to bear arms, was "on the ballot in November."

At the time, he said that the "only way to save our Second Amendment is to vote for a person that you all know named Donald Trump."

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA spent more than $50m during the last presidential election cycle in 2016.

From this, $14m was spent on Republican ads, the bulk for Donald Trump.

Over the weekend, Trump sounded out opinions on gun laws with guests at his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort.