Itamar Ben-Gvir
Itamar Ben-GvirFlash90

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) is pushing a plan aimed at significantly increasing the number of civilian gun licenses in Israel, cutting down on bureaucratic red-tape for a number of groups.

According to a report by Walla Sunday afternoon, the National Security Ministry on Sunday approved a proposal drafted by Ben-Gvir to streamline the gun licensing process for a number of key groups, including IDF reservists, firefighters, and former IDF combat soldiers who finished their service within the last five years.

Ben-Gvir pushed the move as part of a larger effort to increase private gun ownership, a step he argues will help combat terrorism and violent crime.

"We see time and time again that in many terrorist attacks, having personal firearms in the area play a major role [in stopping the attack], and we will do everything we can to ease the backlog and allow everyone who is eligible to receive a license.”

After taking office, Ben-Gvir ordered his ministry to allocate more resources to processing gun license requests, resulting in a surge of 12,000 new permits issued since January.

Now, under the latest proposal, qualifying applications – including reservists, firefighters, and recently demobilized combat soldiers – will be able to obtain gun licenses without an in-person interview, potentially speeding up the approval process dramatically.

Ministry officials said that they are preparing to implement the changes, though the proposal will have to pass a vote by the Knesset’s National Security Ministry.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid slammed the plan, warning an increase in gun licenses could lead to a rise in domestic abuse.

"Easing the gun permit process is not the solution to the problem of violence. It is the ultimate expression of the lack of responsibility, manifested in its most egregious form. Do we really want people who have not undergone rigorous screening to walk among us with a loaded gun?"

"We should only look at the deadly results of the influence of the gun lobby in the United States to understand what disasters could happen here, especially when we are all 'on the edge' and anxious about personal security. Women living in terror of a violent spouse in their own homes will sleep even less soundly when a gun is lying under their pillow. This is definitely not the solution to the wave of violence that is sweeping the streets of Israel - it's exactly the opposite.”