In our post this morning, we projected that, in the aftermath of the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists across southern Israel this weekend, the government, which has kept a relatively tight grip on Israeli residents’ gun ownership, will alter that policy. Waiting in safe rooms for hours awaiting assistance from police and the military as bloodthirsty Palestinians go house to house killing men, women, and children emphasizes the benefits of an armed citizenry.
This afternoon, Israel’s Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir — who you’d think would be looking for a new job soon — said that the government will make it easier for Israelis to acquire and carry firearms.
Here’s a translation of his tweet:
Today I directed the Firearms Licensing Division to go on an emergency operation, in order to allow as many citizens as possible to arm themselves.
The plan will take effect within 24 hours, below are its main points:
1. Any citizen who meets the detailed tests for carrying a private firearm due to self-defense and serving the security forces, and is without a criminal or medical record, will be required to undergo a telephone interview instead of a physical interview, and will be able to receive permission to carry a firearm within a week. (Self-defense tests: residence in an eligible settlement, rifle veterans 07 and above, officers in the rank of lieutenant and above and combatants in the rank of major and above in the IDF and the security forces, service in special units, firefighters, policemen, and workers and volunteers in the rescue forces).
2. Any citizen who received a conditional permit to purchase a firearm and did not purchase a firearm during the year 2023 and the conditional license has expired, will be able to purchase a firearm now without the need to submit another application. The exemption will apply to about 4000 citizens.
3. Any citizen who deposited his weapon in the last six months due to failure to perform refresher training or renewal training, will be able to receive his weapon back. The exemption will apply to about 1800 citizens.
4. In addition, starting next Tuesday, conditional permits to carry firearms will be issued with a permit allowing the purchase of up to 100 bullets instead of 50 today.
All this in addition to the criteria change that should happen soon.
I thank the members of the Firearms Licensing Division, the Civil Response Department of the Israel Police and the employees of the Ministry of Health for the very important commitment that will allow as many citizens as possible to arm themselves and protect themselves and their environment when necessary.
Unfortunately, the Israeli government will not be providing firearms and ammunition to everybody who requests them. The process and requirements are still far too rigid and burdensome, but this appears to be a positive move.
It’s unfortunate that it has taken a national catastrophe and the loss of hundreds of lives to emphasize that armed self-defense is not only a natural human right, but it may also make the job of criminals and, in this case, bloodthirsty terrorists much more difficult. Who knows how many lives could have been saved if civilian gun ownership had been more widespread?
Politicians, on the other hand, are politicians no matter where they go. And few of them appear to believe that granting citizens additional freedoms is in their best interests.