Unlicensed gun possession hits 10-year low

The number of Israelis carrying guns without valid licenses hit a 10-year low in 2006, the Interior Ministry revealed on Tuesday. During the past year, the gun-licensing branch of the Interior Ministry worked to lower the number of Israelis carrying guns without valid licenses. Whereas in 2005 there were around 33,000 Israelis carrying guns without a valid license, there were only around 13,000 citizens doing the same in 2006. But more Israelis were issued private gun licenses during 2006 than were in 2005, the Interior Ministry disclosed. By the end of December, there were 198,291 valid private gun licenses issued, whereas one year before, there were 193,666 valid licenses in effect. At the same time, the number of organizations issued gun licenses dropped - from 129,893 in 2005 to 125,989 in 2006. Companies given gun licenses include security firms, local municipalities, arms dealers, shooting instructors and shooting ranges.