In my experience, firearms ownership among Orthodox Jews in general, and Chassidic Jews in particular, in higher than among American Jews. But in New York, the barriers to firearms ownership are formidable. This isn’t New York City. So it’s not as bad. But it’s still Cuomo’s state.
In the days after a machete-wielding madman allegedly stormed a rabbi’s home and attacked five people during a Hanukkah celebration, dozens of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews in the Rockland County hamlet filed paperwork for gun permits.
Erik Melanson, owner of Precision Gunsmiths in nearby Valley Cottage, says business has been booming, with the Monsey violence and other anti-Semitic attacks a constant topic of discussion as Glocks and SIG Sauers fly off the shelf.
“A lot of people are worried, especially the large Hasidic and Jewish community in Rockland County,” said Melanson, who is Jewish. “I have had rabbis come in. Some of the rabbis already have concealed carry” permits.
The tattooed gun-shop owner proudly sports his own pistol engraved with a Star of David and the words, “The Hebrew Hammer,” on the slide.
In his shop is a framed vintage Sears ad featuring a happy — and heavily armed — family with the message “Liberals would lose their friggin’ minds over this today.”
The Daily News article gives some sense of the kind of work involved in being able to carry or own a firearm.
The spate of applications are under the “sportsman/residence” permit classification, allowing the license holder to keep a weapon in the home or carry it with them only for hunting or trips to a shooting range. A “full carry” permit, which allows the holder to bring the weapon along with them on a regular basis, is the next level up.
Applicants will likely wait months to get their answer, as the process includes fingerprinting, a background check and firearms training before a license is issued.
Not a problem for criminals though.
(Glock photo courtesy of flickr user handvapensamlingen)