Former President Reagan said Thursday he supports proposed federal legislation that would require a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases. "I think it's badly needed," he said.

Reagan, a member of the National Rifle Association, was in Washington to receive an honorary degree at a convocation commemorating the 10th anniversary of an attempt on his life. He reporters that he has always personally favored the bill, although his administration opposed gun control legislation.Asked about a requirement for a waiting period, Reagan said: "We have had that for quite some time within the state of California. The thing is, it should be national." California law requires a 15-day waiting period for gun purchases.

It will be 10 years Saturday since Reagan was shot and critically wounded by John Hinckley Jr. as he emerged from the Wash

ington Hilton Hotel after making a speech.

Reagan, 80, and his wife, Nancy, were being honored at a convocation at George Washington University along with doctors and nurses who attended the then-president during his 12-day hospital stay.

James Brady, the president's press secretary at the time of the shooting, was permanently disabled by a bullet from Hinckley's gun. Brady and his wife, Sarah, the chairman of Handgun Control Inc., have been the primary sponsors of the bill requiring a seven-day period, which is called the Brady bill.

Reagan noted Thursday that Hinckley had purchased the gun in another state and crossed the line into the District of Columbia.

The gun used in the Reagan shooting was purchased by Hinckley in a Dallas pawnshop.