Locked and Loaded: The NYC Jewish Community Is Arming Itself

Posted: Jan 14, 2020 6:40 PM

Following last month's stabbing during a Hanukkah celebration at a Rabbi's home in Monsey, New York, Jews in the area are taking their safety seriously and have decided to defend themselves. Orthodox and Hasidic Jews in Rockland County are applying for pistol licenses, which would allow them to carry concealed, en masse. 

According to the New York Post, the Rockland County clerk's office saw a drastic increase in pistol license applications following the attack on Dec. 28th. Over the eight weeks prior to the attack, the clerk's office received an average of six applications per week across the county. Over that entire time period, only two applications were from Monsey. 

Following the attack, 65 applications across the country have come in. Of those, 23 are from Monsey. Sixty of the applications come from the town of Rampao which encompasses Monsy and other heavily Jewish areas, the Post reported.

The Jewish owner of Precision Gunsmiths in a nearby town, Erik Melanson, said he's seen an increase in people purchasing firearms, especially as anti-Semitic attacks in the area are on the rise.

“A lot of people are worried, especially the large Hasidic and Jewish community in Rockland County,” Melanson explained. “I have had rabbis come in. Some of the rabbis already have concealed carry” permits.

Shlomo Reichberg, a Monsey resident who is a current firearms instructor and former Israeli soldier, said he understands why people feel the need to carry a gun.

“I spoke to some people. They just want to have a firearm to protect themselves. They feel like that’s the only way,” Reichberg said. “If we need to go there, we’re ready.”

As anti-Semitic attacks continue, especially in enclaves like New York City, gun rights activists have encouraged people to protect themselves. We've continually seen attacks on houses of worship. And it's because gunmen and knife-wielding attackers know that church parishioners are typically sitting ducks. They don't expect people to be armed or willing to fight back. 

When more law-abiding citizens decide to be a good guy with a gun then we can prevent these types of attacks. The more people who carry to church, the less likely houses of worship will be targeted.