03/13/2013 04:03 pm ET

Franklin Graham Backs Background Checks For All Gun Purchases

Rev. Franklin Graham has come out in support of universal background checks as the debate over gun control continues in Washington.

Graham told Time he and other religious leaders think background checks on gun purchases are "reasonable and responsible."

Time's Zeke Miller reports:

Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham and the president of Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, and Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission told TIME they have agreed to back universal background check legislation put forward by the administration in the wake of last year’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“As ministers, we agreed together that we could stand on a united front for universal background checks,” Graham told TIME, noting he had many conversations with civil rights leader Rev. Amos Brown on the subject. “We think that’s reasonable and responsible.”

Despite their support of background checks, Land and Graham urged President Barack Obama to find a "multi-pronged" solution to gun violence.

“We’re not going to oppose universal background checks -- it's a nice idea but only law-abiding citizens follow that,” Land said. “The more the president can make this a multi-pronged the more support he’s going to receive from evangelicals.”

Graham's support of background checks gives a conservative boost to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's gun proposals.

Graham has questioned Obama in the past, stating in Feb. 2012 that he did not know for sure if the president is a Christian. Graham told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Obama "has said he's a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is."



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