Bennett at the Security and Policy Conference of the Institute for Pol
Bennett at the Security and Policy Conference of the Institute for Pol Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett responded to the passage of legislation stiffening penalties for the illegal possession of weapons.

"The intolerable situation in which illegal arms dealers and armed criminals are released shortly after their arrest is going to change. A law on minimum penalties for illegal arms holders and traffickers, led by the Justice Minister and MK Sharan Hashakel, was finally approved last night. This government is determined to correct years of criminal neglect and restore citizens' personal security," Bennett said Tuesday.

The legislation establishes a minimum sentence for being found in possession of or trading in illegal weapons.

Anyone found in contravention will be sentenced to at least 12 months in prison; the maximum sentence remains unchanged at seven years behind bars.

The preamble to the legislation notes that: “Possession of illegal weapons has become a national scourge and constitutes one of the main drivers behind the increase in the numbers of murder and violent incidents the country has seen of late. In addition, the extent of violence and the use of weapons and other illegal fighting equipment damages citizens’ sense of security.”