Israel plans to restrict gun ownership

A gun collected by the Israeli Defence Force

A gun collected by the Israeli Defence Force

The Israeli Public Security Ministry has announced new regulations to limit the number of guns in the country.

According to the ministry, school security guards will have to hand in weapons during school holidays , security companies will have to put in place more stringent rules on monitoring weapons, diamond dealers and gold-shop owners will no longer be able to carry firearms and licensed gun owners will have to store their weapon in a safe at home.

It has also been suggested that a special panel will administer mental and physical examinations of all firearm licence applicants.

The announcement has come after five Israelis were killed during a bank robbery in Beer Sheva on Monday.

Public security minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said in a statement: "Limiting gun ownership is at the top of our agenda and I intend to hold a weekly follow-up meeting on the subject."

He added: "The security situation in Israel in recent decades has led to the granting of numerous gun licences. We intend to restrict this while protecting necessary balance.”

According to Mr Aharonovitch, in the last 10 years firearm licences have been reduced from 300,000 to 160,000.

The Public Security Ministry has recently launched a campaign to collect weapons from individuals whose licences have expired. Reportedly, the Israeli authorities have received names of 6,500 people who have not renewed their licences.

Last updated: 1:27pm, May 22 2013