Jews and Guns

By MJL. July 2019

Jews, particularly American ones, have a longstanding aversion to guns. According to a 2005 American Jewish Committee study, Jews have the lowest rate of gun ownership of among all religious groups, with just 13 percent of Jewish households owning firearms (compared to 41 percent for non-Jews) and only 10 percent of Jews personally owning a gun (compared to 26 percent).

The majority of American Jews, who overwhelmingly live in urban rather than rural communities (where gun ownership tends to be more widespread) support the Democratic party, whose platform calls for stricter gun control, and major Jewish organizations have repeatedly thrown their support behind gun control measures. A 2013 list of prominent anti-gun activists compiled by the National Rifle Association included several of the largest Jewish groups.

Jewish gun groups, meanwhile, are few and far between, with limited influence. The most visible is Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, based in Bellevue, Washington, which reported less than $100,000 in revenues in 2015 and lists only three board members on its IRS filing. Still, some Jews have long argued that the community's broad opposition to firearms is naive and dangerous given the history of Jewish oppression and the persistence of anti-Semitism, sometimes violently expressed. .....

Jews have the lowest rate of gun ownership of among all religious groups, and yet some Jewish gun proponents have argued that since the Torah commands self-preservation, acquiring the means for that preservation is also a religious requirement, with some going so far as to suggest that gun control laws prevent Jews from exercising their religious obligations.


Back to Top