Following an upswing in lone-wolf terror attacks, Israel authorities have relaxed gun regulations to make it easier for civilians to embrace private gun ownership. Already, 140,000 civilians have gun licenses and the changes are expected to entice an estimated 35,000 more individuals to exercise his or her right of self defense.
Under the new rules any Israel with extensive infantry combat training can apply resulting in an estimated 600,000 Israelis now eligible given the compulsory military service obligation for both men and women. Police volunteers, medics also benefit from the change as are residents and employees in the West Bank.
Although the application pool has expanded, the vetting process remains the same.
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The new regulations do not change Israel’s vetting process for gun licences, which, according to Erdan, is “one of the strictest.”
“There’s no intention to reach a situation like in the United States,” he told public radio on Tuesday.
“Here we conduct background checks on people’s past, their health, including mental health — you need permits from the health ministry and police.”
Erdan’s move was met with criticism from left-wing politicians who expressed fear an increase in gun ownership could lead to more violence.