Jews are heading to gun stores across the U.S. in record numbers amid the attack by Hamas, a terrorist organization, on Israel.
On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas launched an unprecedented invasion of Israel, which took place at a festival in the Holy Land. Moments after this brutal attack, Israel declared war on Hamas.
To date, the Israel-Hamas war has led to the deaths of nearly 6,000 people, including more than 30 Americans who have been mercilessly murdered at the hands of Hamas terrorists.
In the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel, Jews worldwide are finding ways to protect themselves, including by purchasing and learning how to use a firearm, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“We’ve definitely seen a tremendous increase in religious Jewish people, Orthodox people, purchasing firearms,”, a Jewish man and the owner of the Florida Gun Store, David Kowalsky, said. “I’ve seen a surge in interest in individual training as well as group training.”
‘Not safe anywhere now’: American Jews are flocking to gun training classes
The deadly terrorist attack in Israel and the torrent of social media threats that followed have forced many American Jews to reconsider their long held stances against owning or using guns.
— Mrs D'Onofrio (@galactic1492) October 22, 2023
The Washington Examiner reported that Kowalsky’s store offers lessons teaching people how to use a firearm. Kowalsky told the outlet that local synagogues have contacted him about hosting gun training seminars and, at one such seminar, Kowalsky said most participants had never held a gun before, with most of them being mothers and teachers.
“There’s a safety concern,” Kowalsky said. “I think people are nervous about what’s going on and what can happen.”
There has also been an increased interest in firearms among Jews in Los Angeles, California.
Magen Am, a nonprofit organization based in the area that provides firearm training to Jews, has reported receiving a spark of interest in the subject. Rabbi Yossi Eilfort explained that the non-profit organization has received over 600 calls recently about self-defense training. The rabbi said the calls have “just been really, really nonstop.”
In Fort Worth, Texas, the owner of Eagle Gun Range, David Prince, told the Telegraph that demand at his gun shop had increased 300% since Hamas’ invasion of Israel.
“It’s been a really big change this last three or four days,” he said. “The people coming in and saying they are scared for their lives, because of their religion they are expecting to be attacked.”
The rise in firearm purchases comes as anti-Semitism increases in the U.S., with nearly 4,000 antisemitic incidents reported in 2022, marking an increase of 36% from the year prior, the Washington Examiner reported.