Harsher punishment for illegal use of firearms passes into law

Erdan: Law aims to decrease gun crime, particularly in Beduin and Arab communities.

Guns (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Criminals who use firearms illegally and endanger the lives of other will now face five years in prison, after a law was passed by the Knesset to increase the punishment for this type of crime.
The bill was initiated by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and MK David Bitan (Likud) who said the bill was part of a wider struggle against illegal firearms use across the country and specifically in the South.
“The time has come for judges to understand that the public expects that a criminal who shoots with illegal weapons will sit for many years in prison and the courts will now ensure that the shooter is behind bars,” Erdan said.
According to the bill, a person who carries out a shooting in a residential area, on the roads or in any other life-threatening situation will receive a sentence of up to five years in prison. In the event of shooting in a situation that is not life-threatening, the penalty will be two years imprisonment.
The lawmakers said they submitted the bill after it became clear to them that in a series of serious cases, the courts imposed light sentences on offenders who committed life-threatening shootings and that the police enforcement against these offenders was therefore ineffective.
The new law seeks to change that.