Following the recent attack by the Hamas terrorists on Israel, there has been a notable increase in the number of Jewish individuals seeking training to use firearms for self-protection. One gun shop has reported a significant surge in firearm purchases from Jewish customers who are looking to enhance their personal security.
SPIKE IN LOCAL GUN SALES – There has been a rise in local gun and ammo sales, and experts say it’s primarily coming from people within the Jewish community who want to protect themselves. https://t.co/mEfJZ5neaa
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) October 17, 2023
David Kowalsky, owner of the Florida Gun Store and a member of the Jewish community, confirmed the notable uptick in firearm purchases among religious Jewish individuals, especially those from the Orthodox community. Interest in both individual and group training for firearm use has seen a significant surge in response to recent events.
Kowalsky’s store provides firearm training services, and he reported that several local synagogues have reached out to him recently to arrange gun training workshops. During a recent gun safety seminar he hosted, he noticed that the majority of attendees were newcomers to firearms. He emphasized that many participants, including mothers and teachers, had never contemplated owning a firearm until now.
Kowalsky said, “There’s a safety concern. I think people are nervous about what’s going on and what can happen.”
Magen Am, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit providing firearm training for Jewish individuals, has experienced a significant surge in interest. Rabbi Yossi Eilfort shared that the organization has received more than 600 calls within the past week, with a continuous and high demand for self-defense training.
The increase in Jewish individuals seeking self-defense options follows a 2022 lawsuit in which Jewish gun owners in New York sued the state’s leadership for prohibiting firearms in places of worship. The New York State Jewish Gun Club organized the lawsuit, arguing that Jewish congregants could not practice their faith freely if they felt unsafe and lacked the means to protect themselves.
Before the Hamas attack on Israel, there was a notable surge in antisemitism in the United States. In 2022, there were 3,697 reported antisemitic incidents, marking a 36% increase from 2021. Additionally, Orthodox Jews accounted for 53% of assault incidents nationwide last year.
In addition to the increased demand for personal protection firearms in the U.S., Israeli citizens are urging the government to reconsider their country’s stringent gun laws. Israeli residents are signing petitions urging the government to permit personal firearm ownership as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza.
Firearm licensing in Israel has long been a subject of debate, often seen as overly strict for civilians. However, activists argue that the events of the past week, including the traumatic images of Hamas terrorists brutally murdering Israeli civilians in their homes, should prompt an immediate reevaluation of these restrictions.