Israel's Public Security Ministry came up with a proposal to lower the bar for obtaining a gun permit by ordinary citizens, Haaretz reported. Under the new proposal, any Israeli citizen that has undergone military training in the use of firearms will be eligible for a gun permit. This will increase the number of potential gun-owners by 35,000-40,000, according to the ministry's estimates.
This is not the first time that the ministry is relaxing the requirements for gun permits, with the latest being proposed 2 years ago in 2016 after a series of terrorist attacks where civilians saved the lives of others by using their personal weapons, according to the ministry's data.
Under the existing legislation, a 21-year-old person without health issues and living near Israel's borders or near the West Bank can apply for a gun permit. It is valid for 3 years and after that it must be prolonged.
Israeli security forces and civilians have been on high alert due to the six-week long Palestinian mass demonstrations near the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, which began March 30, known as the "Great March of Return." In the clashes, demonstrators, who claim the right of return for people that were displaced after Israel's creation in 1948, sent Molotov cocktails across the border using balloons to ignite grassfires.
Tel Aviv has also claimed that the rallies were organized by Hamas in order to infiltrate Israel under the cover of clashes between protesters and border guards to conduct attacks against its citizens.