Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan “is easing restrictions to obtain a permit for owning a gun, which will make hundreds of thousands of additional civilians eligible to carry a firearm”, reported Haaretz.
According to the plan, “any citizen with what was known as level 7 Rifleman training, as is the case with most infantry units in Israel, will be able to apply for a gun permit”.
Speaking Monday, Erdan claimed that “skilled civilians carrying a gun in public contribute to a sense of security, act as an important line of defense against lone-wolf terror attacks”.
Haaretz noted that “there are approximately 145,000 gun-license holders in Israel at present”, a number which “does not include people who have firearms because their job requires it, and does not include soldiers and police”.
Now, the new plan will mean that “almost anyone who has done combat service in the Israeli army [will be able] to apply for a permit”.
MK Haneen Zoabi attacked Erdan’s plan on Tuesday, accusing his ministry of wanting “to control Arab citizens, and impose fear on Arab streets”.
Haaretz added that “in 2016, on Erdan’s initiative, officers with the rank of lieutenant and above who are still serving in the reserves were added to the list of people who could apply for a gun license, along with veterans of elite military units, farmers, tour guides and first aid personnel”.