The PJ Tatler

Israel's Response to Terror: Relax Gun Laws

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAd5dFkuUo0

Israel suffered yet another murderous terror attack today. The government has responded by electing to relax gun control laws.

Let that soak in for a minute.

America suffers a horrific school shooting and the gun control lobby is out in full force before the bodies are cold, screaming about stricter gun control laws. Israel suffers a bloody synagogue terror attack and

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch pledged to ease controls on carrying weapons for self-defense after a gruesome terrorist attack at a Jerusalem synagogue that left four dead Tuesday.

It was not clear exactly what new measures would be put in place, but it was reported that the move would apply to anyone licensed to carry a gun, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers.

Aharonovitch added that “we have instructed synagogues to place security guards at their entrances.”

Israel’s gun laws are strict and the Israeli attitude towards carrying firearms differs greatly from the almost comedic depictions of gun ownership in America. A 2012 article published after the Sandy Hook massacre detailed:

“There is an essential difference between the two. In America the right to bear arms is written in the law, here it’s the opposite… only those who have a license can bear arms and not everyone can get a license.”

Amit said gun licenses are only given out to those who have a reason because they work in security or law enforcement, or those who live in settlements “where the state has an interest in them being armed.”

He added that former IDF officers above a certain rank can get a license.

Anyone who fits the requirements, is over age 21 and an Israeli resident for more than three years, must go through a mental and physical health exam, Amit said, then pass shooting exams and courses at a licensed gun range, as well as background checks by the Public Security Ministry.

Once they order their firearm from a gun store, they are allowed to take it home with a one-time supply of 50 bullets, which Amit said they cannot renew.

The gun owner must retake his license exam and testing at the gun range every three years. As of January, Amit said, a new law will go into effect requiring gun owners to prove that they have a safe at home to keep their weapon in.

The relaxed restrictions may relate to regulations imposed after a 2013 shooting in Be’er Sheva:

One day after a Be’er Sheva man shot dead four people in a local bank before turning his gun on himself, the Public Security Ministry on Tuesday announced new rules to limit the number of guns in circulation. School security guards will have to turn in their weapons, which guarding firms will reissue at the start of the new school year. Licensed gun owners will have to store their weapon in a safe at home. Security companies must obtain special exemptions from being required to store a weapon when its bearer is off duty, only one gun license will be issued to any single individual and anyone applying to renew a gun license must show why they need a weapon.

What “relaxed” means is yet to be seen. But for Americans weary of gun control arguments that continue to be completely irrelevant to the situations at hand, Israel’s response to gun ownership in the face of terror is refreshing and worthy of further examination by our own government and pro-gun lobby.