Gun (illustrative)
Gun (illustrative) Photo: Thinkstock

Attorney David Ben-Yishai criticized the move promoted by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to ease the granting of weapons licenses to graduates of combat units who received sufficient training during military service.

According to a report by Haaretz this week, Minister Erdan will allow any Israeli who underwent level 07 rifle training in the IDF to apply for a gun license. All infantry soldiers are certified as level 07, in addition to all combat squad commanders and the majority of IDF officers. The vast majority of IDF soldiers are not combat soldiers and are certified as level 02.

"The issue leaves me awake," Ben-Yishai told Arutz Sheva. He wondered what the purpose of Erdan's move was. "At the end of the day, the civilian market is flooded with guns, security companies, security personnel and more, and the proof is that in every terrorist incident an armed man arrived immediately. What is this proposal meant to promote? The dangers and damages cost far more than the benefit derived from this law."

On the claim that expanding the circles of those who possess weapons is intended to thwart terrorist attacks more quickly and efficiently, Ben Yishai says, "This is populist. That's the situation right now. Has anyone checked how the easing of restrictions will help to solve terrorist incidents? If that's the only reason I think it's populist. On the other hand, if [this goes through], all violence will be allowed to rise simultaneously, both in the family and in the street. Imagine that every other citizen has a gun. [What would happen] if there is an argument over a parking spot and one of them loses it? Instead of the matter ending with a stabbing or a blow, as it is today, it will end with a gunshot if they have weapons without regulations."

As for the minister's assurances that the amendment as being relevant only to veterans of combat units, Ben-Yishai casts doubt on the matter and states that the subject includes a very gray area, as defined, and the supervision will not be as it should be. "If the consideration is terrorism, then terror attacks are solved because the market is flooded, and this is even before we talked about places where there is no enforcement and in my opinion it will affect these places."

"I have a problem with the populists of this proposal. People are not ignoring this proposal. People are totally oblivious to the dangers of this thing. It's not a toy, it's a weapon. How do you maintain your basic skills? How do you take care of the supervision? There are severe dangers here with this matter.

"I doubt that we understand how many guns will join the market, and that the proliferation of friendly forces in a certain area is not healthy, that allowing too many civilians to carry firearms is unhealthy. It will create an excess of guns and this will lead to bad effects among the people, including criminal phenomena, domestic violence, and weapons leakage to problematic places.

Attorney Ben-Yishai once again raised the argument that in all the terrorist attacks in Israel there was an armed man who brought about the neutralization of the terrorist, which led him to the conclusion that there was no need for additional armed men. However, the point was also raised about the off-duty soldier who responded to a terrorist attack in a supermarket in Shaar Binyamin two years ago and was killed because he did not have his firearm with him.

According to Ben Yishai, "Soldiers do indeed need to go home with weapons. What bothered me was when I saw that the army was reducing the restraints on the carrying of weapons in the house. I cannot agree with the claim that increasing the number of guns will lead to a faster resolution of terror attacks, because this could lead to other catastrophes because of the same number of guns in a small area."