American Jews begin to buy firearms as a measure of protection against recent antisemitic attacks

"People are nervous about what’s going on and what can happen," said the owner of Florida Gun Store in Hollywood.

The American Jewish community is showing increased interest in acquiring firearms and receiving training in their use due to security concerns that the conflict between Israel and Hamas has sparked.

Firearms instructors explained that since the Palestinian terrorist group attacked Israel on October 7, many Jewish community members have reconsidered their stance on gun ownership and use.

“We’ve definitely seen a tremendous increase in religious Jewish people, Orthodox people purchasing firearms,” David Kowalsky, owner of Florida Gun Store in Hollywood, Florida, told NBC News.

According to Kowalsky, security concerns have increased so much that even people who have never come into contact with weapons before and have spoken out in favor of gun control are now requesting their services. “These are mothers, teachers (...) people are nervous about what’s going on and what can happen,” he added.

The gun store owner revealed that even local synagogues have approached him to organize training seminars and shooting sessions. “I’ve seen a surge in individual training as well as group training,” he said.

Yossi Eilfort, a rabbi offering self-defense classes and firearms training to the Jewish community, reported that he received more than 600 calls in one week.

Increase in violence against Jews

According to Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran New York-based political strategist who is also Orthodox, Jews have historically opposed personal gun ownership. However, fears of antisemitic attacks have increased since Hamas attacked Israel.

A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League exposed that Hamas supporters and other antisemitic actors “have threatened and attacked Jewish and Israeli people and institutions around the world.” It even published a list of antisemitic incidents outside Israel, including countries in Europe, America and even Oceania.

Rising tensions and fears of terrorist attacks have intensified so much that the Department of State (DOS) recently issued a global alert.

“Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” the DOS expressed.