Almost 4,000 approved firearm licenses in 8 months
Over the past eight months, since the policy for granting a firearm license was amended, 6,000 applications have been submitted by military veterans for permits. Over half of them were approved. This is a nearly fourfold increase from the period prior to the change in policy, according to the state's response to a petition submitted by the “Gun on the Kitchen Table” coalition against the firearm reform. In the petition, the organizations claimed that the new policy could increase the potential amount of citizens with firearm licenses in an unprecedented and unreasonable fashion, endangering public safety and security.
In its response, the state declared that the Attorney General believes that the criteria for a firearm license should be regulated by legislation, as requested by the petitioners. However, the decision has yet to be accepted by the Ministry of Public Security. The state rejects the petitioners' main demands — to annul the new criteria and the temporary order permitting security guards to carry their firearms after hours.
The director of the Itach-Maaki association, Attorney Anat Thon-Ashkenazy, Attorney Anne Sucio of ACRI, and Attorney Smadar Ben Natan of “Gun on the Kitchen Table,” who wrote the petition, replied: “The numbers speak for themselves. In such a short period of time, thousands of firearm license holders were added, which could pose a great danger to the general public." They added that "it is clear from the state's response that the decision to expand the criteria was made without a sufficient factual basis or an in-depth examination of the connection between the proliferation of firearms, violence against women, and suicides."
The petitioning organizations are: “Gun on the Kitchen Table” - Isha L'Isha Feminist Center, Haifa; Itach-Maaki Lawyersl for Social Justice; the Association for Civil Rights in Israel; Israel Women's Network; Kulan - promoting feminist discourse and action in Israel; New Profile; Physicians for Human Rights; the Families of Murder Victims organization; Na'am - Arab Women in the Center; and Women Against Violence.