After the Hamas attack that claimed more than 1,100 Israeli lives, Israelis will be able to defend themselves using firearms. Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel’s Minister of National Security, announced on Sunday that he had ordered the standards to be relaxed for gun licenses.
He posted on Twitter: “Today, I ordered the Firearms Licensing Division (FLD) to conduct an emergency operation to allow as many citizens to arm themselves as possible.”
הנחתי היום את האגף לרישוי כלי יריה לצאת למבצע חירום, על מנת לאפשר לאזרחים רבים ככל האפשר להתחמש.
התוכנית תיכנס לתקפה תוך 24 שעות, להלן עיקריה:
1. כל אזרח שעומד בתבחינים המפורטים לנשיאת כלי יריה פרטי בשל הגנה עצמית ושירות כוחות הביטחון, והוא ללא עבר פלילי או רפואי ידרש לעבור…
— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) October 8, 2023
Ben-Gvir stated that citizens who meet the detailed requirements for carrying a private gun due to self-defense and are serving in the security forces without having a criminal record or medical records will have to go through a phone interview rather than a physical one and be granted permission to carry within a week. (Self-defense test: residents of an eligible settlement; rifle veterans aged 07 and up; officers of the IDF or security forces with the rank major and higher, as well as firefighters, policemen, and rescue workers).
Citizens who are eligible and meet the criteria will now be able to undergo a phone interview in place of a physical interview, allowing them to obtain a permit for carrying a gun within one week. Citizens who were granted a conditional firearm permit in 2023, but never purchased one, can now purchase a gun without having to reapply. Residents who returned their firearms in the last six months, because they did not complete their renewal training, can now get their guns back. Bullets can now be bought by conditional permit holders for double the amount. The requirements for gun-carrying will be relaxed.
Ben-Gvir thanked the Firearms Licensing Division of Israel Police and the Civil Response Department of Israel Police for their commitment to allowing as many citizens and residents as possible the ability to protect themselves, as well as the environment when needed.
This is an important change in policy as it gives Israelis the chance to protect themselves. It is hard to believe Israelis who are constantly under threat of war didn’t have easy access to guns for self-defense. On Saturday, it would have come in handy. Over a hundred Israeli civilians were taken and taken to Gaza. According to Ranjit Sing at Bearing Arms’ sister site, “Israeli gun control is similar to New York or California’s before NYSRPA v. Bruen but it’s worse.” A Washington Post article from 2012, published just weeks after Sandy Hook, stated that 40 percent of all permit applications were rejected.
Israel has taken the right steps to empower its citizens. It’s unfortunate that they had to wait for such an attack before doing it.