Israel, a nation about the size of New Jersey and with a similar sized population, has begun to back away from their long-standing gun control policies. The Jewish state is increasingly embracing the idea that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns, while the Garden State moves in the other direction.
As mentioned in our Daily Digest post last night, the restrictions on civilians carrying firearms are being reduced for those who have served in the armed forces. But this doesn’t only affect IDF veterans.
Currently, there are 145,000 carry permits in Israel. That’s in addition to those who carry as part of their jobs like police, armed security, and military reserve officers. Another 500,000 are now currently being green-lighted.
As reported by The Times of Israel;
Under the new rules, which went into effect immediately upon being announced Monday, hundreds of thousands of veterans of the IDF’s infantry units will be eligible for gun permits, along with police officers who received the equivalent training.
Additionally, army officers ranked first lieutenant or higher, as well as non-commissioned officers ranked first sergeant or higher, who carried a weapon during their military service will no longer be required to return their guns and permits when they are discharged from reserve service, and will be allowed to ask to keep carrying them.
Volunteers in certain police units and in medical organizations Magen David Adom, ZAKA and Hatzalah will also be eligible to receive permits.
Under the old system, Israel largely kept gun ownership linked to military service.
Israel tied it to military serviced through their universal conscription system. But the Israeli Ministry of Defense has reported that at some point, they will end conscription and become an all volunteer force.
The IDF is working towards becoming a professional all-volunteer force. The old ways are going out the window. The age requirement to carry has now been lowered to 21 years of age instead of the old requirement of 25 if of eligible rank or 27 years old if one did not complete any service.
Additionally, individuals who have been in continuous possession of a firearm permit for 10 years will now be allowed to keep their permit indefinitely without undergoing periodic tests to prove they still match the requirements. Also gone is having to prove a need for the firearms, such as living or working in an area considered dangerous.
The biggest boon to gun ownership in Israel because of the changes though is the lowering of the age and not directly tying it to the IDF. Numerous civilians volunteer for the Mash’az (Police Civil Guard).
The civil guard is always out in public since they are the ones who traditionally protect Israeli schools and other public locations from terrorist attacks.
The Magen David Adom (Red Shield of David) is Israel’s national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service. It’s officially recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross as the national aid society of the State of Israel under the Geneva Conventions, and a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The Hatzalah is a volunteer ambulance service that operates hand in hand with the Zihuy Korbanot Ason (ZAKA). Which is also a voluntary community emergency response team made up of Orthodox Jews who are exempt from military service.
Since all these groups and their volunteers will now be eligible to receive permits, the Israeli gun culture will grow exponentially.
Israel has a strong culture based on volunteerism. As a nation and a people this will further entrench civilian gun ownership into the national fabric since gun ownership will no longer be tied to what has traditionally been seen as a privilege of career military service. It will now be seen more as part of the individual’s responsibility for the collective defense of their own person, their home, and their community.
Israel isn’t the only Middle Eastern nation to recently realize that allowing the law-abiding population to be armed is a step towards greater security for the country as a whole. Iraq also just lowered its restrictions on civilian firearm ownership and carry, too. Some places in the world are seeing the light, while some states and cities here in the US move toward the dark delusion of civilian disarmament.