Franklin Graham Appears to Walk Back Support for Universal Background Checks

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 25 2014 1:02 PM

Franklin Graham Appears to Walk Back Support For Universal Background Checks on Eve of NRA Appearance

107542594-franklin-graham-and-sarah-palin-hold-a-press-conference
Graham at an event in Haiti with Sarah Palin.

Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images

Franklin Graham is Billy's son and a major figure in the evangelical world. Given the general conservatism of evangelical Christians, it was big news last year when Graham said he supported universal background checks on gun buyers. Now Graham is making an appearance at the NRA's ongoing annual meeting in Indianapolis—he'll lead Sunday's prayer breakfast—and some gun activists have wondered if he would make a point of mentioning his support for background checks. Per a just-posted note on his Facebook wall, it sounds like the answer is no:

screen_shot_20140425_at_12.17.11_pm_1

It's a little opaque, but appears to read as a "walk-back" of his previously reported stance on the issue; i.e., if God has already checked everyone, there's no need for the government to do so as well. We've put in a request for comment with Graham's representatives and will update the post if we hear from them.

Advertisement

Update, Friday, April 25, 5:15 p.m.: Franklin Graham's spokesperson writes with a statement from Graham. Here it is in full:

"I support background checks for the purchase of firearms, but the term universal seems to be a moving target and changes every time lawmakers propose new legislation. Not even the current background check system is working. It hinders, and in some cases, stops the sale of legitimate gun purchases by law-abiding citizens.
 
I have had first hand experience recently with a close friend who, for no reason, was denied the opportunity to purchase a shotgun. He had to come back to the gun store several times over the course of two days before the purchase was finally approved.
 
The government doesn’t seem to be able to do background checks in a fair and timely manner and if given the opportunity for a universal background check, I’m concerned that the government could abuse that system."

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.