Middle East Monitor / May 1, 2023
Far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir approved on Sunday the easing of conditions to obtain firearm licenses, Israeli media reported.
According to the Walla news website, former Israeli combat soldiers, police officers, firefighters and active reservists will receive an exemption from personal interviews when applying for a license.
Doing this, Walla said, will reduce the process to only filing a health declaration and getting a police approval – shortening the bureaucratic process to get the weapons.
Wallah quoted the far-right minister as saying armed civilians are crucial in thwarting many terror attacks, “and we will do anything we can to allow all those who meet the criteria to get gun permits.”
It is worth noting that the ministry has issued 12,000 firearm licenses during the past few months despite much official and popular criticism.
“We have already released 12,000 firearm licenses that were stuck due to bureaucratic complications, and after the criteria are made accessible, God willing, many more citizens will be able to obtain a firearm license,” said Ben-Gvir.
Commenting on the issue, Women’s Lobby director Hadas Danieli Yelin said: “From 2019-2021, 9 women were murdered in Israel by men who had a gun license. The easing of weapon ownership threatens thousands of women and children who live under domestic violence.”
She added: The solution to the problems and security problems is to strengthen the security forces and especially the Israel Police, and not to flood the country with more and more weapons.”
National Unity MK Sharren Haskel said on Sunday evening that the Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs had rejected her own bill on easing criteria for firearm permits, The Jerusalem Post reported.