Israel wasn’t as pro-gun as a lot of us figured they should be. They had some pretty strict gun control measures on the books. Technically, they still do, though there has been some loosening of those restrictions.
In order to buy a gun, you need a permit. That’s just more hassle than a lot of people probably wanted to mess with.
Yet over at The Reload, Stephen Gutowski learned just how things changed after the October 7th attacks by Hamas.
Less than a month after Hamas terrorists slaughtered 1,400 people, Israelis have applied for more gun permits than they have over the past three years combined.
In an exclusive interview with The Reload, the Chair of the Israeli Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee said the government has seen an unprecedented surge in demand for personal firearms. Simcha Rothman said applications for handgun permits have climbed to 150,000 as the government has, at least to some degree, opened up eligibility for civilians to own and carry pistols.
“More than 100,000. Much more than that. I would say around 150,000,” Rothman told The Reload. “So, it’s an increase. The yearly average is 40,000 or 50,000. In less than a month, it’s three times that.”
The Israeli rush to take up arms mirrors what the world saw in Ukraine as the Russian invasion began last year, where the government loosened gun restrictions and even gave out firearms to those civilians willing to take them. It offers another example of civilians arming themselves in response to terror campaigns waged by governments and terror groups alike, as well as their governments reforming gun laws in the wake of the new demand. That’s something that’s rarely happened across the globe as most countries have sought to restrict or outright eliminate the ability for civilians to keep their own arms.
“We live in a dangerous neighborhood,” Rothman said. “So, October 7th was another terrible reminder.”
Now, let’s put that in perspective for a moment. Israel has a population of around 9.3 million people, just under a million more than New York City.
Imagine the way the Big Apple would react knowing that suddenly, 150,000 people wanted guns.
That estimate is roughly 1.6 percent of Israel’s total population.
I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s the equivalent of the United States suddenly getting 5.2 million brand-new gun owners over the span of a single month. Not total gun sales, mind you, but all brand-spanking new gun owners.
And, honestly, that isn’t surprising.
Not only was Israel attacked by a hostile power, but the absolute brutality of that attack had to rattle a lot of people. They’re what Cam referred to on Monday as “reluctant gun owners,” really. They may not have even wanted a gun until they saw what Hamas was willing to do by targeting civilians like that.
Now they know about those dangers, though, and now they don’t want to be a victim and end up on some Hamas terrorist’s home movies as nothing more than a corpse.
I don’t blame so many for wanting to arm themselves and I sincerely hope that they are able to do so. I also hope that they never need to use those firearms in self-defense. I say the same for those Jewish folks here in the US who are going down a similar route.
I’m just glad Jewish Americans have an easier time getting armed.