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Tags: israel | ben gvir | gun | license | interviews

Israel's Ben Gvir Seeks to Loosen Criteria for Arming Citizens

By    |   Monday, 01 May 2023 09:50 AM EDT

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Sunday said that recently released soldiers and police officers, as well as firefighters, should be exempted from gun license interviews.

"There is no reason why armor and combat engineering fighters, who are part of the IDF's frontline force on the battlefield, should not be allowed to carry weapons," said Ben Gvir. "As well as a lot of other IDF fighters who, until today, absurdly did not meet the criteria."

Ben Gvir promised to ease the process for gun permits after a Jerusalem car-ramming attack last Monday.

"We see time and time again that in many terrorist incidents there is very great significance for personal weapons carriers who are in the vicinity, and we will do everything we can to release the jam and allow anyone who meets the criteria to receive a weapons permit," said Ben Gvir.

The driver of the car in Monday's terror attack was killed by an armed civilian.

The announcement was not without criticism, however. The Women's Lobby said yesterday that Ben Gvir's proposal would endanger many women and children.

Women's Lobby director Hadas Danieli Yelin said, "From 2019-2021, 9 women were murdered in Israel by men who had a gun license."

She continued, "The easing of weapon ownership threatens thousands of women and children who live under domestic violence. 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."

Hagit Pe'er, head of the Na'amat women's movement, also warned against easing restrictions.

"Women living in terror of violent partners inside their home will sleep even less when a gun is placed under their husband's pillow. This really isn't the solution to the wave of violence that is washing over Israel's streets; it's the opposite," she stated.

National Unity MK Sharren Haskel said Sunday evening that the Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs rejected a bill she submitted for easing criteria for firearm permits.

There has been a significant increase in demand for personal gun licenses over the last year as terror violence has increased. In 2022, around 42,000 applications for weapons permits were submitted, of which, only around 11,000 were approved.

In February, Ben Gvir eased regulations by removing the requirement for interviews for current security members. He also announced a plan to double the number of employees in his ministry's licensing division and increase operating hours.

That easing came after a shooting in the City of David, in which an armed reservist shot the terrorist. At that time, Netanyahu also suggested arming emergency responders.

The previous government under Bennett and Lapid also worked to ease restrictions. In March, after a wave of violence started, then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on more Israelis to arm themselves.

"What is expected of you, citizens of Israel?" Bennett asked in a video message. "Alertness and responsibility. Open your eyes. Whoever has a license to carry a weapon, this is the time to carry it."

This article originally appeared on All Israel News and is reposted with permission.


National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Sunday said that recently released soldiers and police officers, as well as firefighters, should be exempted from gun license interviews.
israel, ben gvir, gun, license, interviews
Monday, 01 May 2023 09:50 AM
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