MK Rachel Azaria.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Anyone with a record of violence will be excluded from legislation allowing security guards to carry their firearms outside of work hours, according to the version of the bill authorized by the Knesset Interior Committee Wednesday for a second and third (final) reading.
MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) suggested during the debate that anyone who has a criminal record of domestic or any other kind of violence not be permitted to take his or her gun home.
In addition, anyone whose case of violence was dropped by the police because of lack of public interest will not be able to take a weapon out of the workplace.
“In recent years, when security guards took their weapons home, women were murdered in domestic violence incidents,” Azaria explained. “Adding the article to prevent security guards with a history of domestic violence from removing their weapon from their workplace will defend women, while meeting the security need for people carrying guns.”
The bill the Interior Committee authorized is a temporary measure proposed by the Public Security Ministry in light of the ongoing wave of terrorism.
The idea behind it is to have more civilians trained to use guns on the street, so that they can subdue terrorists even before the police can reach the scene of an attack.
Committee chairman David Amsalem (Likud) said “99.9 percent of people don’t have a problem. If there are 200 people against whom there were complaints of violence, we’re saying they shouldn’t be given guns. It could be that the police wouldn’t give them guns anyway....
We’re not going to take away people’s jobs; they just won’t be able to take a gun home at the end of the day.”
MK Dov Henin (Joint List) expressed opposition to the idea of security guards taking their guns home at all.
“More guns create more damage and more deaths, more domestic violence and more suicides and more chaos on the streets,” he stated.
Also Wednesday, the Knesset approved in a preliminary reading a bill that would allow IDF soldiers to apply for a gun license immediately after they are discharged.
Currently, the law states that veterans can apply only at age 21, which is the age at which males usually complete their mandatory service, while women generally finish at age 20.
MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said she proposed the bill in order to enable young women to get jobs in security immediately after finishing their army service.