Israel Loosens Gun Ownership Restrictions in Response to Terrorist Threat

Israel’s new policy would make hundreds of thousands of current and former members of the armed forces eligible to own firearms. (Photo: Israel Defense Forces Facebook)

In high contrast to nearly every other non-U.S. country, Israel passed a law on Monday that would expand the number of citizens eligible for firearms ownership licenses.

As justification for the new policy, Israel’s Security Minister Gilad Erdan cited increased protection from “lone wolf” terrorist attacks.

“Many civilians saved lives during terror attacks and in an era of ‘lone terrorism.’ The more skilled civilians carrying weapons, the greater the chance of thwarting attacks without casualties and reducing the number of casualties,” Erdan said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Previously, Israel operated under a system similar to the “good cause” scheme for concealed carry licenses in states like California. Israelis could only purchase a firearm if they worked in an occupation the Public Security Ministry deemed would necessitate one. Civilians could also obtain a license if they lived in areas like the West Bank in which the state had an interest arming certain residents.

Now, both current and former members of the security forces and IDF, as well as volunteers for the Israel Police and emergency and rescue organizations, will have an opportunity to fulfill the training requirements and obtain a license to own a firearm. The new policy will expand the number of Israelis eligible to own a firearm by 500,000 people, according to the Jerusalem Post.

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Erdan believes the relaxation of gun control laws will be appropriately balanced by more stringent training requirements to obtain a license. Erdan also led the effort to increase the punishment for those who use firearms illegally.

“The new policy balances the need to protect the public who may be at risk and the need to protect the public from misuse of guns,” he stated.

Amir Ohana, a member of the same ring-wing political party to which Erdan belongs, praised the move.

“As someone who had worked since his first day in the Knesset to ease the government’s restrictions on the most basic right – the right to self-defense – I congratulate my friend Erdan, who finally, in contrast to his predecessors, is working for the benefit of the citizens and enables responsible and skilled citizens to serve as a power multiplier for the security authorities,” he said.

“The time has come for a turning point in a life-threatening policy,” Ohana said, remarking that in recent years Israelis have had to defend themselves with guitars, shopping carts, selfie sticks, pizza trays and umbrellas.

“A civilian who has no criminal and/or relevant medical record, and serves or served in reserves, should be able to defend himself and others – such a person is not the problem, but in many cases the solution. Today we took a significant step on the way toward that,” said Ohana.

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Not everyone, of course, supports the new policy. Left-wing politician Dov Henin slammed the move as a “bad fad” imported from the United States.

“Welcome to the war zone,” he said. “More weapons mean more violence, more accidents, and more wounded and dead. The trend should be the opposite: a reduction in the presence of weapons in the civilian space in Israel – which is too high, and certainly not an expansion of it.”

“Like many bad fads that the right in Israel imports from the right in the United States, in this case too, it is better to stop before starting. Before there will be massacres here in schools, and before there will be another intolerable increase in the murders of women in [their] homes,” Henin said.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Ro Gal August 26, 2018, 8:39 pm

    Israel didn’t steal any land. As a matter of fact, when they were ATTACKED . Egypt and Syria successfully launched coordinated surprise attacks against Israeli forces in the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights, respectively. This was an act of war, and Israel dominated and destroyed their enemies as well as taking the land they occupied. Israel actually withdrew 20 miles before claiming their new territory, it is called the spoils of war.

  • Gourdhead August 24, 2018, 12:28 pm

    I see that Israel is not as free as I thought it would be. Interesting. Stupid but interesting.

  • Vaughn Winslett August 24, 2018, 11:10 am

    How incredibly insane to limit firearm ownership in a nation constantly under attack from enemies..

    • Winston August 24, 2018, 12:51 pm

      Since Israel has been brutally stealing land from the non-Jews in the region for 70 years- and getting welfare and political aid from the US- it is no wonder that it is nearly universally hated.

      • mark fischer August 24, 2018, 7:41 pm

        Winston, Israel hasn’t stolen any land, you really need to look at your history. You can start in Genesis chapter 12. Israel doesn’t occupy near the land they used to & will again in the not to distant future! In the last 70 years they’ve been coerced & pressured over & over again, by USA presidents & others, to give up land for peace. They’ve tried many times to their own detriment, but what do you expect from a bunch of lying terrorist countries all around them! As far as Israel being universally hated, that was also foretold long ago, in that very same Book, that starts with Genesis & ends with Revelation! The Holy Bible, God’s written word.

      • Green tip January 10, 2019, 5:07 am

        Ignorance, in THIS case…of Israel’s history, comes from 2 places. Either denying ACTUAL history (which starts in Genesis), or by attending a ‘liberal/progressive’ school of choice (sometimes called “Higher learning”) and THEN willfully ignoring the REAL truth you “weren’t “ taught AFTER you left school and joined the masses in propagating MORE ignorance…which is the democratic party

  • ~ Occams August 24, 2018, 10:06 am

    So flag-waving, unarmed 12 year olds are a ‘threat’? Journalists – unarmed. Aid workers – unarmed.

    Israel gets a Free Pass on murder and genocide.

    Thankfully, a LOT of people are finally waking up to who these people really are.

    USS Liberty? 9/11?

    Some ‘greatest ally’

  • Norm Fishler August 24, 2018, 9:13 am

    A friend of mine who has visited Israel many times told me that as a tourist, one is not even allowed to be in possession of a pair of finger nail clippers. Personal possession of weaponry for citizens may vary, but it is still nothing like what Americans enjoy.

  • RSConsulting August 24, 2018, 8:32 am

    Close but no cigar.

    This is nowhere near a 2A right to self-defense for the average Israeli citizen – even though most have or are serving in the armed forces or security forces. But definitely a step in the right direction.

    I keep dropping Bibi notes about how many American Jews would love to immigrate, and would serve to bolster security in a troubled part of the world. Which by all appearances from Iran, Hamas & Hezbollah – and their oh-so-peaceful native population of muslim/arabs – ain’t getting safer any time soon (and will likely get worse, before it gets better). But we here are used to an enshrined legal right to defend ourselves that doesn’t exist there.

    As a daily carrier for almost 30 years, an armorer/gunsmith/collector (who is also familiar with IWI weapons – pretty much own one of everything myself) – I’m just NOT LEAVING MY BABIES BEHIND.

    Hell – I don’t even travel to states where my CWP isn’t reciprocal or doesn’t have open carry (which means nothing north of VA, or the entire communist West Coast-CA/OR/WA).

    I understand the situation is pretty tense there, and giving EVERYONE a gun, might not be the safest thing (plus, more weps in civilian hands means more weps that can potentially BE TAKEN BY THE ENEMY).

    I would LOVE to move to Israel – as I’m sure many of my Jewish friends here would. With anti-semitism on the rise EVERYWHERE. Even here, and sadly, anti-zionism even amongst American Jews/Democrats (self-loathing morons that they are), Jews will ALWAYS BE THE TARGET FOR HATE and the SCAPEGOATS FOR IGNORANCE. But I’m too fat and old to serve, and I’m just no forfeiting the right to self-service-self-defense.

    Mazel Tov to my Israeli brother and sisters, for the greater ability to defend themselves and their homeland even as civilians.


  • Joseph August 24, 2018, 6:22 am

    All sounds good as long as the more stringent training requirements to obtain a license, aren’t a political tool.

  • TJ 2000 August 24, 2018, 5:00 am

    “A civilian who has no criminal and/or relevant medical record, and serves or served in reserves, should be able to defend himself and others – such a person is not the problem, but in many cases the solution.

    This needs to be one of our mantra’s, the only change would add the word ALL to the phrase.


  • Dr Motown August 22, 2018, 9:42 am

    Amazing how leftist politicians sound the same all over the world

  • Tsh77769 August 22, 2018, 5:14 am

    Congratulations Israel! A victory for freedom, reason, and safety!

    • joefoam August 24, 2018, 8:34 am

      Couldn’t have said it better!

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