The Times of Israel reported a significant increase in gun applications, with 274,279 Israelis applying between October 7 and December 25, 2023, compared to 42,170 applicants in the entire year of 2022. The process for obtaining guns, which was previously rigorous, has been simplified since the Israeli Parliament passed a law on October 17, allowing phone calls alone to be sufficient for gun provision.
Eligibility criteria have also changed, with individuals aged 21 and above who have served in the military for at least one year now qualifying. This marks a departure from the previous requirement of spending two to three years in the military or waiting until the age of 27. Members of charitable organizations, security guards, and bereavement workers are also allowed to apply for firearms.
Despite these changes, the practice of civilians openly carrying guns has faced condemnation. The Director of Israel’s Department responsible for issuing gun ownership documents resigned in early December 2023, reflecting the ongoing controversy surrounding this policy.