In light of recent terrible acts committed that involved guns. What is the Torah perspective on gun control. Are there any Torah sources which discuss gun control from a halachic/hashkafic point of view. Is there such a value at all?

What I mean by gun control I mean to say the arguments given to curtail their proliferation or doubts regarding the right to own a gun as an inalienable right. Is there anything for such curtailing or against such curtailing in Halacha or Hashkafa?

Given the nature of the question and the slim chance that Halachic books talk explicitly about gun control, answers may be personal opinioned but must be based off traditional Torah sources.

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    In the recent resolution on "Gun Violence in America" by the Rabbinical Council of America, the only sources cited were a mishna indicating that guns shouldn't be glorified and a verse in Isaiah predicting a weapon-free Messianic age. If there was an explicit Halachic source in favor of gun control, they probably would have cited it.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 19, 2015 at 15:38
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    Halachah dictates that a dog is required to be tied up, a pit open to the public is required to be public, an ox fenced, etc. A person is fully liable for damages incurred by his property if he doesn't guard it properly. If your minor child, due to your negligence, takes your gun and uses it to injure another, Beis Din may very well hold you liable for damages. Feb 19, 2015 at 17:15
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    @Nafkamina heh yeah, I think the reason folks are using the comments section, is because these aren't actually answers, only suggestions on where to look next
    – yitznewton
    Feb 19, 2015 at 21:03
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    @nafkamina. I'd have to listen to it first
    – Menachem
    Feb 19, 2015 at 22:42
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    @Mefaresh, I made that explicit in the question, feel free to edit further if I didn't capture it.
    – Yishai
    Jun 22, 2015 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


Shulchan Aruch C.M. 409:3 says:

אסור לגדל כלב רע אא"כ הוא אסור בשלשלאות של ברזל וקשור בהם ובעיר הסמוכה לספר מותר לגדלו וקושרו ביום ומתירו בלילה

It is forbidden to raise harmful dogs unless he chains them with iron chains. In a border town it is permitted to raise them and chain them by day and let them loose at night.

The Biurei HaGra explains this is limited to Israel, but the Ramo goes on to include the limitation outside if the dogs are potentially harmful to people. The purpose of putting them in chains (in the latter case) includes preventing them from scaring pregnant women (מאירת עינים there), so the chaining has to be obvious, not just effective.

The analogy to gun control seems fairly obvious. Permitted for self defense, even in ways which have some theoretical possibility of harm (at night in a border town), but otherwise precautions must be taken to prevent accidental harm to others. There was, however, no decree to outright ban them.

In addition, in terms of sales (analogous to background check requirements, I guess) Avoda Zarah 15b says it is forbidden to sell, make or fix weapons for someone (Jewish or not) who one is concerned will use it for murder.

In terms of "inalienable rights" Judaism doesn't have (to my knowledge) any Halachic or Hashkafic approach which worries about Government encroachment and tyranny. However, one of the rights recently recognized in the second amendment is self defense (the recent DC vs. Heller decision), and this is recognized in Judaism not as a right but as an obligation, about oneself as well as in defense of others. (Sanhedrin 72a and 73a respectively).

Some of these same sources and additional ones are discussed in this article by Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe and he uses them to apply some thoughts to gun control, including the Ramban on Bereishis 4:20 which discusses the "guns (swords) don't kill people, people kill people" slogans you hear every once in a while.


There is an article based on the Torah's perspective here:


This article shows how the Jews had to be armed to protect themselves as needed. Consider the fact that while rebuilding the Temple, they had to have armed guards at all times and all the workers had to carry weapons.. Nechemiah 4:10 - 16

The significant quote from the article is

I learn from religious sources and moral example that it is the absolute right of every individual to be able to protect him/herself against every real threat that they may possibly be exposed to. I believe it is the moral obligation of every citizen of every country, anywhere, to bear arms, or to have at his/her disposal any and all types of self defense tools that may be needed at a moment's notice.

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    @DoubleAA I edited in the conclusion summary from the article along with the pointer to Nechemiah. Nov 17, 2015 at 16:43
  • There is very little in that article that is based on Torah sources, and almost nothing based on Halachah. Furthermore, this article does not discuss (though it attempts, in my opinion badly, to imply) applicability from these sources to gun control. The sources are mostly about national defense and warfare, with a snippet (really only an allusion without direct quotation) about self defense.
    – Seth J
    Nov 29, 2015 at 19:30

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