Rejecting Proposed Reforms to Expand the Gun Registry
In the wake of a drastic increase in the number of women murdered in 2018, the “Gun on the Kitchen Table” Coalition (of which ACRI is a member) petitioned to the High Court of Justice on November 29, against the planned reform to the gun registry. The planned reform, proposed by Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, sought to bring about a massive expansion to civilian gun ownership eligibility, which poses a significant threat to public safety and security.
According to the new criteria proposed by Minister Erdan, any person who served in the army and went through basic combat training (and specifically passed the Firearms 07 level of training), regardless of whether that army service ended 50 years ago, would be eligible to own a firearm (in accordance with a health assessment and police background check, and with the relevant by-laws). This proposal could increase the potential number of citizens holding gun permits by approximately 600,000 – an enormous, unprecedented, and unreasonable increase.
According to an international comparative analysis that was submitted in the petition, 40% of all murders in Israel are committed using firearms, while other states in the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) report an average of 28%. Thus, throughout a period of over 20 years, Israel’s gun control policies were correspondingly made more restrictive, and gun ownership was solely granted to populations with a demonstrable need. The findings presented in the petition further indicate that the presence of weapons in the public sphere increases the risk to women's lives by 3%-5%.
In the petition, the coalition argued that the Public Security Minister’s reform was passed despite having no basis in facts; without the due process of the public or parliamentary hearings; and in complete ignorance of three decades of work conducted by countless committees containing critical facts, statistics, and analyses, as well as numerous reports by the State Comptroller and the Ministry of Health written in the wake of tragic killings, all of which support limiting the accessibility of guns in the public sphere. The coalition also rejected Minister Erdan’s basic premise that armed citizens increase public safety. In addition to cancelling the new criteria, the coalition sought to reverse this year’s temporary measure, which was passed in May, that grants security guards the right to carry their weapons beyond work hours.
On February 15, 2021, the court issued a conditional order regarding two of our requested rectifications: requiring further legislation to authorize and anchor any changes in the criteria for receiving a private gun license, and cancelling the temporary measure permitting security guards to take their guns outside of their workplace and work hours.
For further information (Hebrew)