Israel Relaxes Firearms Rules In Wake Of Hamas Terror Attack

The unprecedented attack on Israel by the terrorist organization Hamas led officials in the Jewish state to relax certain gun regulations preventing ordinary Israelis from carrying weapons. The surprise attack carried out by Hamas with the backing of Iran has led to hundreds of deaths and full-scale warfare as Israel has promised “severe punishment” for the attack.

Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir instructed officials in charge of gun licensing to relax certain aspects of the law. Notably, individuals who pass basic muster -no criminal record, mental health diagnosis, and honorable service in the Israeli Security Forces can now be granted a license to carry via telephone rather than in person. Changes also allow individuals who are currently licensed to purchase a gun but have not in the last year to skirt the regulations.

Other changes to the laws will return firearms to individuals who did not complete the annual training that is currently required and increase the amount of ammunition individuals can purchase from 50 rounds to 100. Ben-Gvir said these changes to the law would better allow Israeli citizens to arm and protect themselves, their families, and others in the community against the threat of ongoing attacks.

Israel has no right to bear arms enshrined in law unlike the U.S. and has for many years taken a hardline stance on controlling who can legally own a weapon. In a report by the U.S. Department of Justice, the gun laws in Israel were seen as successful. By law, any citizen who is not a convicted criminal may apply for a permit to own a firearm. The law makes no distinction between owning a gun and carrying a gun. Strict penalties for violating the rules have helped keep the rate of gun violence low while offering freedom to citizens to defend themselves.

The attack on Israel is considered to be an intelligence failure unlike anything seen since 9/11. Hamas has publicly claimed they have the support of Iran who is likely responsible for providing many of the 5,000 rockets fired into Israel in the opening moments of the attack.

Iran has a long history of supporting terrorist organizations and a recent decision by the Biden administration to release $6 billion in aid that was held up over sanctions against the Muslim nation now almost certainly will create a backlash in the U.S. It is likely that at least some of the humanitarian aid package the Biden administration surrendered has gone to supporting Hamas terrorists and other extremists who can carry out the dirty work.

The full extent of the attack is yet to be clarified. At least 1,100 Israelis are confirmed dead, though hundreds more remain missing, including people who were attending a music festival that was directly attacked. Israel’s much-lauded Iron Dome missile defense system proved a complete failure in the wake of the attack. The nation has initiated retaliatory strikes across the Gaza Strip, the region believed to be occupied by Hamas fighters. Whether loosening the rules will aid Israeli citizens in defending their homes is yet to be seen, but at least the government acknowledges the importance of providing self-defense options for the more than four million Israeli citizens.