Another Needless Death Due to Gun Policy
The murder that took place yesterday in Petah Tikvah is the fourth since 2016 to be committed with a weapon belonging to a security guard. At that time, the Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan had initiated an amendment to the Firearms Law, which permits the minister to biannually renew permits for employees of security companies to carry weapons while off-duty.
From 2002-2013, 36 women and men were shot to death by guns intended for security guards. As a result of the public activism of the Gun-Free Kitchen Table Coalition, which is responsible for bringing this phenomenon to the headlines, amendments to the Firearms Law were enforced for the first time, and carrying weapons outside of one’s workplace and work-hours was prohibited. And indeed, from August 2013-2017, the phenomenon ceased entirely.
Reinstatement of permission to carry security weapons, in any place and at any time, is a part of a gun policy furthered by Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan. This policy also included the dramatic expansion of those eligible to submit a request for private gun ownership. In November of 2018, the Gun-Free Kitchen Table Coalition submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice against this permissive policy, addressing its different components. The 10 civil society and women’s organizations that are members of the coalition, ACRI among them, appealed to the court demanding the urgent annulment of the current policy that enables security guards to carry weapons outside of work, and to similarly repeal the expansion of eligibility to receive a gun license. In the petition, the organizations warned of irreversible harm from the dangerous use of firearms authorized by certain criterion of the current policy.
To our dismay, we are witnesses once again to another needless death as a consequence of the permissive gun policy spearheaded by Minister Erdan.
Rela Mazali, a founding member of the Gun-Free Kitchen Table Coalition stated: “Unfortunately, by the end of this week, two names have been added to the ever-growing list of gun victims. The dangerous reform advanced by Minister Erdan will continue to claim victims, and it is thus incumbent upon the government to come together to establish a tough gun policy that will be safer for us all.”