In the wake of the recent Hamas attack on Israel, a growing number of Jewish individuals are purchasing firearms. This surge in interest is evident in gun shops across various regions, with some experiencing a significant increase in firearm purchases made by Jewish customers.
On October 7, the Hamas terrorist group’s attack on Israel globally prompted concerns about safety and security, especially among Jewish communities. As a response to these concerns, many Jewish people are exploring the option of purchasing firearms and acquiring the necessary training to use them effectively.
The Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack in Israel and the alarming social media threats that followed are prompting many American Jews to reconsider their traditional resistance to owning or using guns. https://t.co/fD0BWm0b2O https://t.co/q4xsl96r60
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) October 22, 2023
David Kowalsky, a Jewish man and the owner of the Florida Gun Store, shared his observations: “We’ve definitely seen a tremendous increase in religious Jewish people, Orthodox people, purchasing firearms.” He also noted a growing interest in both individual and group training sessions related to firearm use.
Notably, Kowalsky’s store provides firearm training services, and local synagogues have reached out to him to host gun training seminars. During one such seminar held in the past week, Kowalsky noticed that many participants were newcomers to firearms. Among them were mothers and teachers, most of whom had never considered owning a gun before.
Kowalsky also pointed out the underlying concerns driving this trend: “There’s a safety concern. I think people are nervous about what’s going on and what can happen.” Another organization actively involved in providing firearm training to Jewish individuals is Magen Am, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Yossi Eilfort, representing Magen Am, reported a remarkable surge in interest. The organization received over 600 calls in the past week alone, with a continuous influx of requests for self-defense training.
In 2022, Jewish gun owners in New York took legal action against the state’s leadership. They challenged the ban on firearms in places of worship, organizing the lawsuit through the New York State Jewish Gun Club. The lawsuit argued that Jewish congregants could not freely worship if they felt fearful and lacked the means to protect themselves.
It’s important to note that the recent Hamas attack on Israel occurred against the backdrop of rising antisemitism in the United States. In 2022, a total of 3,697 antisemitic incidents were reported, marking a 36% increase from the previous year. Of particular concern is the fact that Orthodox Jews accounted for 53% of assault incidents nationwide in the preceding year.