Israel has recently changed again the regulations about private gun ownership and it’s almost impossible to get a permit. Unlike many people outside Israel think, the country in spite of its security problems is very far from being a haven for people who like guns.
Far from the image of a heavily armed population where ordinary people have their own arsenals , Israel allows its citizens to acquire firearms only if they can prove their professions or places of residence put them in harms ways. The country relies on its security services, not armed citizens, to prevent terror attacks.
Though military service in Israel is compulsory, routine familiarity with weapons does not carry over into civilian life. Israel has far fewer private weapons per capita than the U.S.
The issue came up after the recent attack on a school in the U.S “Many in the U.S thought that in Israel guns are also easy to get and this is not the situation” a source close to the Issue told i-HLS.
The Israeli school security guards carry side arms but they are the inner tier of a multi tiered security strategy, that was built along the years to prevent attacks on schools. It’s main ingredient is intelligence and prevention.
Guards are stationed not just at schools, but at many other public facilities, including bus and train stations, parking lots, malls and restaurants – providing high signature and deterrence.
Gun licensing to private citizens is limited largely to people who are deemed to need a firearm because they work or live in dangerous areas or work in a high risk job like gold or diamonds travelling dealers.
Licensing requires multiple levels of screening and permits must be renewed every three years. Renewal is not automatic and the owners must participate in a shooting range, attend a safety lecture and prove that their gun is safe to use.
A total of 180,000 guns are licensed for private use in Israel.
In addition to the privately held weapons, 130,000 guns are licensed to Israeli security companies, firing ranges, government ministries and companies that operate in areas deemed dangerous. Soldiers who carry assault rifles off base during their regular or reserves service turn them in when they complete their tours of duty.
Eighty percent of the 10,000 people who apply yearly for licenses are turned down.