WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The White House on Saturday issued a statement praising youths participating in demonstrations against gun violence in Washington and around the country, where many participants are calling for tougher gun-control measures than President Trump supports.

“We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in the statement, in which she added, “Keeping our children safe is a top priority.”

Many March for Our Lives participants are advocating far more aggressive steps than Trump has endorsed, such as an assault weapons ban.

The protests drew hundreds of thousands to the nation’s capital and sister rallies around the country. The events were organized by students who survived the mass shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The statement was issued as Trump spent time at Trump International Golf Club about 35 miles from Parkland.

Earlier this month, the White House vowed to help provide “rigorous firearms training” to some teachers and formally endorsed a bill to tighten the federal background-checks system. That legislation was included in the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress this week.

But the White House backed off Trump’s earlier call to raise the minimum age to purchase some guns to 21 from 18.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday that the Justice Department is proposing a regulation to define bump stocks, effectively banning the devices that turn semi-automatics into automatic weapons.