From Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law (ABC/Clio: 2d ed. 2012).
By Paul Gallant and Joanne D. Eisen
The American Jewish Congress (AJC) is a lobbying, legal, and cultural organization; in recent years, the AJC has become a strong proponent of restrictive gun laws.
World War I had a profound effect on Jewish life in the
The AJC has a membership of 50,000. Its headquarters are
The centerpiece of AJC's anti-gun work is a petition campaign called "Stop the Guns: Protect our Kids!" The petitions demands that the U.S. Congress enact legislation to require that: 1. All gun buyers pass a government test in order to receive a license. 2. All guns be registered with the government. 3. Prospective gun buyers provide fingerprints and a photograph in order to receive a license. 4. Firearms manufacturers be "required to install safety devices to prevent accidental and inadvertent firing." 5. Licensing and registration rules which currently apply to retail firearms dealers be applied to all firearms transfers.
The petition campaign is supported by a variety of gun prohibition and gun control organizations, and AJC coordinates its work with other anti-gun lobbies, and works in a support of a wide variety of other proposed gun laws.
Opinion polls typically show that Jews are more supportive of gun control than are Gentiles, but some American Jews do not share the AJC's views on firearms ownership. For example, Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (JPFO) calls gun-control "victim disarmament", and charges that AJC's anti-gun activism undermines traditional Jewish values. JPFO believes that "Jews, like everyone else, have a duty to protect and defend themselves and their families against violence." According to JPFO, the AJC ignores both Jewish morality and the importance of armed self-defense, and from a historical perspective, that combination has been lethal for Jews.
For more information, contact:
American Jewish Congress
Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership
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