National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Thursday announced plans for an overhaul of the ministry’s firearm licensing department, aimed at streamlining the process for civilians looking to carry a gun following a series of terror attacks.
Gun control in Israel is relatively strict, and weapons are generally only granted to those who can show a need for extra security in their line of work or daily life. Citizens in nearly all cases can only own one gun and only 50 bullets at a given time.
According to data released by the National Security Ministry on Monday, there were 147,248 issued gun licenses, compared to a high of 185,399 in 2009.
According to the ministry, 42,236 applications were submitted in 2022, an all-time record. Before 2021, gun ownership had been on the downswing, with an average of 13,000 applications a year between 2016 and 2020.
The rise in applications has been attributed to the May 2021 Jewish-Arab race riots in many cities during a war with the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.