Gun License Applications Soar as Israelis Seek Protection

A day after Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan authorized a series of measures to ease the process of obtaining a firearm license, around 8,000 Israelis contacted the Public Security Ministry on Thursday to request a license.

On a normal day, only around 150-200 applications are made. But the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism has prompted Israelis to seek ways to protect themselves. Given the surge of demand for firearm licenses, the Public Security Ministry has extended its hours of operation and bolstered its staffing levels.

Under the new regulations, military officers with the rank of lieutenant or higher, non-commissioned officers with the rank of master sergeant currently serving in the IDF full-time or as reservists, and members of other security branches who hold equivalent ranks will all be eligible for licenses to carry firearms. Previously, the minimum rank required for a firearms license was a military major.

“In recent weeks many civilians have helped the Israel Police neutralize terrorists,” Erdan said. “Civilians who are trained in the use of firearms double the forces combating terrorism, which is why I acted to ease restrictions right now.”