A week after 17 people were murdered in a Florida high school shooting, US President Donald Trump met with survivors at the White House and suggested that teachers and coaches should be armed with guns in order to be able to respond quickly to an attack.

Watch: Trump suggests arming school teachers with guns
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US President Donald Trump has proposed to arm teachers with guns during a sit-down at the White House with survivors of last week’s deadly shooting in a Florida high school.

In an emotional, hour-long meeting, which was broadcast live on television, Trump said arming teachers and coaches would help deter would-be attackers. “If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly,” he said.

“This would only be, obviously, for people who are very adept at handling a gun,” he added. “It’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone.”

Trump acknowledged that this notion may prove highly controversial and asked those present in the room for a show of hands over it. Some supported it, others were firmly against it.

On Wednesday, hundreds of students marched to Florida’s Capitol in Tallahassee to confront lawmakers about gun control, a day after lawmakers in the heavily-Republican state voted against a ban on semi-automatic rifles like the one used by the shooter at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.