Gun permit requests rise dramatically since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre

Ultra-orthodox undergo weapons training in central Israel, November 5, 2023 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Ultra-orthodox undergo weapons training in central Israel, November 5, 2023 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Requests for gun permits have skyrocketed since Hamas’s devastating massacre, the National Security Ministry says.

More than 236,000 new requests for permits have been filed since the attack — a figure equal to the number filed in the past 20 years, the statement says.

When some 3,000 Hamas terrorists stormed into southern Israel on the morning of October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking over 240 hostages, civilian security squads were the first to respond to the scenes of carnage.

As a result, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir set out on a mission to establish hundreds of those groups across Israel and purchased 10,000 rifles to meet this goal.

Additionally under Ben Gvir’s direction, the eligibility criteria for receiving a gun license have been significantly broadened.

Some 1,700 permits are being issued daily after the National Security Ministry eased restrictions, the statement says.

By comparison, an average of 94 were issued daily in November 2022, and an average of 42 a year earlier.

Many are concerned by the proliferation of weapons. Palestinians are concerned that they may be used against them by extremists, and women’s groups have sounded the alarm, calling for those with domestic violence complaints against them to be ineligible.

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