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Did Biden Administration Demand Israeli Government Enact Gun Control On Civilians To Obtain Weapons?

The Biden administration reportedly refused to sell American weapons to Israel unless they would not provide guns to civilians living in the West Bank, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The Jewish state urgently requested the United States sell it thousands of M-16 rifles following the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 slaughter of more than 1,400 unarmed Israeli citizens. But the Biden administration would not approve the sale until Israel guaranteed the critical weapons would not reach civilian outposts in the West Bank, which the Biden administration and its Democratic allies view as occupied territory.

The stipulation was characterized by officials as unusual and indicates the Biden administration is succumbing to pressure from its far-left flank, which is pressing Israel to enact a ceasefire and accusing the Jewish state of carrying out a genocide as it defends itself from Hamas terrorists operating in the Gaza Strip.

The guns are critical to Israel’s defense as it faces down the most significant threat in decades. With the military engaged in an assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Jewish civilians in dangerous areas like the West Bank are being trained and equipped to defend themselves against potential attacks.

According to the outlet’s report, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is allegedly one of the lawmakers who pressured the Biden administration to impose the gun control stipulation.

As WLTReport previously noted, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir directed the Firearms Licensing Division to go on an emergency operation to allow as many citizens as possible to arm themselves after the October 7th attacks.

Israel Launches ‘Emergency Operation’ to Arm as Many Citizens as Possible

The order read (translated):

Today I directed the Firearms Licensing Division to go on an emergency operation, in order to allow as many citizens as possible to arm themselves. The plan will take effect within 24 hours, below are its main points:

1. Any citizen who meets the detailed tests for carrying a private firearm due to self-defense and serving the security forces, and is without a criminal or medical record, will be required to undergo a telephone interview instead of a physical interview, and will be able to receive permission to carry a firearm within a week. (Self-defense tests: residence in an eligible settlement, rifle veterans 07 and above, officers in the rank of lieutenant and above and combatants in the rank of major and above in the IDF and the security forces, service in special units, firefighters, policemen, and workers and volunteers in the rescue forces).

2. Any citizen who received a conditional permit to purchase a firearm and did not purchase a firearm during the year 2023 and the conditional license has expired, will be able to purchase a firearm now without the need to submit another application. The exemption will apply to about 4000 citizens.

3. Any citizen who deposited his weapon in the last six months due to failure to perform refresher training or renewal training, will be able to receive his weapon back. The exemption will apply to about 1800 citizens.

4. In addition, starting next Tuesday, conditional permits to carry firearms will be issued with a permit allowing the purchase of up to 100 bullets instead of 50 today.

All this in addition to the criteria change that should happen soon.

I thank the members of the Firearms Licensing Division, the Civil Response Department of the Israel Police and the employees of the Ministry of Health for the very important commitment that will allow as many citizens as possible to arm themselves and protect themselves and their environment when necessary.

The Israeli government has stricter gun control policies compared to the United States.

Via The Times of Israel:

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.

But Ben Gvir has pushed to overhaul the current policy, following a series of terror attacks. Since handing down new orders in February, there was a spike in approvals, with 12,000 licenses issued since, according to Walla.

Ben Gvir in February instructed the National Security Ministry’s firearm licensing department to work according to emergency procedures to speed the process through May of this year, including by working longer hours and enlisting more staff.

The U.S. Department of Justice stated in a 1992 publication “there is no clear right to carry a gun in Israel.”

From the U.S. DOJ Office of Justice Programs:

There is no clear right to carry a gun in Israel. Nothing similar to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution exists. In theory, the policy is very strict. No one may own or carry a gun without showing a reason to do so. A special permit by the Interior Ministry is then required. The permit must have the approval of the police and includes information about the owner and the gun type. It is easy for a law-abiding citizen (with no criminal record) to get a permit for a handgun. There is no distinction between carrying a gun and possessing it. People who have a permit to own a handgun or other weapon are allowed to carry it with them. The police and the court take seriously the felony of possessing a firearm without a permit, which almost always means that the gun is stolen. People with previous criminal records caught with firearms are generally sentenced to a year or two in prison. The “gun density” in Israel is very high, despite the laws. The strict limitation of gun ownership to law-abiding citizens combined with strict enforcement against those who have guns without a permit apparently works well in Israel to keep the homicide rate low; there are 40-60 murders a year in a population of four and one-half million.

BBC reports:

Following the January attack, Mr Ben-Gvir pledged to drastically speed up the issuing of gun permits, from around 2,000 to 10,000 a month, reducing the waiting time from six to eight months to two or three.

Israeli gun ownership is low at about 2% of the population. It compares to about 30% of the population owning a gun in the US.

Usually citizens are allowed to hold a pistol and a limit of 50 bullets.

But now applications for gun licences have more than doubled, according to the national security ministry, from 19,000 in 2021 to 42,236 last year – the highest annual number made.”


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