Gun (illustrative)
Gun (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash 90

Israel will consider tightening its gun control laws this year, in response to a heightened rate of criminal incidents involving firearms.

Over the past several months there have been a number shooting attacks unrelated to terrorism.

This past month a lawyer and his daughter were murdered over a monetary dispute, and a worshiper at the Western Wall was killed by an angry security guard.

Public Security Minister MK Yitzchak Aharonovitch (Likud-Yisrael Beiteynu) told a Knesset session dealing with firearm ownership on Wednesday that he plans to review the current requirements for owning a weapon.

The minister plans to change the guidelines for issuing gun permits, so that applicants will have to receive approval from a psychologist in order to receive a license. If they fail that test, they will have to receive the approval from a psychiatrist.

At present, applicants must pass medical testing and firearms safety classes in order to purchase and own a gun. In addition, gun ownership is restricted to those who can prove they require a weapon for defense either due to the nature of their profession or because their residential location is in a high-risk area.

One's commuting route to and from work does not count towards the risk factor when applying for a weapon, according to security personnel.

Aharonovitch said during the session, however, that he plans to call for stricter requirements for gun ownership in the future.

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