Israeli Citizens Stock Up On Firearms In The Aftermath Of Hamas Oct. 7 Attacks

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Jake Smith Contributor
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A large number of Israeli citizens are stocking up on firearms and ammunition in the aftermath of the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Hamas killed over 1,200 civilians and kidnapped hundreds of others as part of a mass terrorist attack against Israel on Oct. 7. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis who previously did not own weapons are now buying up firearms to protect themselves against possible future attacks, according to the Times. (RELATED: Police Arrest Several Hamas Members Before Carrying Out Suspected Terrorist Attack)

“God forbid, if something similar happens here, I want to know that I have a firearm,” Zvika Arran, an Israeli citizen living near the West Bank, told the Times. Arran said he was hesitant to purchase a firearm, but felt it was necessary.

Roughly 150,000 Israeli citizens owned gun licenses in 2021, but following Oct. 7, 256,000 new gun applications have been submitted for approval, according to the Times. Israel approved 13,000 gun licenses in 2022 and approved 23,000 as of Oct. 7.

The country approved 26,000 licenses in the past eight weeks along with 44,000 “conditional approval” licenses, according to the Times.

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

A weapons expert provides training to an Israeli citizen at the Caliber 3 shooting range on Oct. 15. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Officials in Israel’s current government have advocated for expanded gun ownership among the civilian population, according to the Times.

“Until Oct. 7, the private weapons policy in Israel was fairly well-balanced,” former Director-General of Israel’s National Security Ministry told the Times. “Then, the authentic fears of many Israelis changed in a single day.”

Citizens may qualify for gun ownership depending on age, location and military service or experience, according to the Times. New regulations were issued in January of this year that expanded the number of Israelis eligible for qualification.

“As many citizens as possible who met the criteria must be armed,” Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said last week, according to the Times. “If there had been more guns in the Gaza border area, more emergency response teams, more lives could have been saved.”

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