The Israeli Public Security Ministry on Thursday issued 304 firearm licenses to former members of the IDF’s anti-terrorist unit, Duvdevan. The decision was made in light of the dramatic rise in terrorism across Israel in recent months, and as part of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s stated policy of easing the criteria for carrying a firearm.
“Issuing gun licenses to former Duvdevan members is a sensible step due to the security realities, and it will enhance our response capabilities in cases of possible terrorist attacks,” Erdan said.
“There is a pressing need for far more trained civilians in the streets, who can save lives,” he added.
Duvdevan representatives who met with Erdan and employees of the ministry’s firearms department thanked them for expediting the licensing process. One former Duvdevan member said after the meeting, “We have a background in fighting terror, and we want to take part and contribute to the security of the state as caring citizens.”
Since the beginning of October 2015, more than 15,000 civilians have submitted requests for firearm licenses, compared to 3,000 in the same time period last year.