Gun reform: Psychological exam, physical required for permit

Internal Security Minister Aharonovich announces reform to reduce number of available weapons in Israel from 290,000 amid wave of murders, suicides

This year, 11 individuals were murdered and five committed suicide in Israel using privately owned weapons, said Internal Security Minister Yizhak Aharonovich Wednesday. 


At a meeting of the the Internal Affairs Committee on reducing weapons, headed by MK Miri Regev, Aharonovich stated that as part of the gun reform in Israel, anyone who wishes to receive a gun permit will be required to undergo a medical and psychological examination. "If they won't pass the psychologist's test, they'll have to see a psychiatrist," he said.


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The minister announced that a new police order will be introduced under which an individual who has not renewed his license in over six months will be subject to criminal investigation. Aharonovich said that over 290,000 guns are in the hands of private individuals and security guards, and that he strives to lower that number.


Further data the minister provided claimed that since 2012, 4,800 gun permits were revoked, with 1,100 more revoked in 2013.


According to the organization "Gun Free Kitchens Tables", which has issued a first public call to ban security guards from taking their weapons home with them, the number of gunshot wound victims from shots fired by security guards has risen to 33 since 2002. The organization maintained that the number of victims could be even higher, since the data did not include individuals who were killed in public spaces.


Amid the wave of murders Aharonovich ordered that security guards carry guns only at high-risk businesses that require armed security, such as malls, banks and hotels.


Following pressure from security companies, the gun reform was postponed until the coming school year and has now been extended. People who renew their gun permit will be required to provide liable cause.


Ynet revealed this week that due to field work in the Internal Security Ministry and resistance from local authorities, it was decided to exclude school guards from the reform. During the conference Wednesday Aharonovich said that until recently his office had not received support from the Education Ministry, but that now, a joint taskforce has been set up. "We need to advance the reform as quickly as possible," the minister said. "Hopefully we'll find solutions in time."


The current change to the initiative is one of many failures to reform gun control in the last decade. In 2005 the Brinker Committee recommended that security guards' weapons be left at the workplace and not taken home. The committee also embarked on several initiatives for gun reduction, and its recommendation took form three years later in a bill that deemed that any weapon given to guards will be restricted for use only in their place of employment.


Despite this, the Internal Security Ministry has thus far allowed security companies to allow exceptions at their discretion. From now on, Aharonovich said, all security companies will be required to follow procedures.



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פרסום ראשון: 07.31.13, 14:47
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