Areas of Activity

Gun Free Kitchen Tables

About the Project

Gun Free Kitchen Tables (GFKT) is a coalition of 19 women’s and civil society organizations working out of Isha L’Isha, its organizational home. The Coalition works to disarm civil space in Israel and to seriously tighten gun control.

Focusing on a tool that is central to the performance of violence and working to reduce its proliferation, GFKT sets out to prevent a key enabling condition of violence in society in general and of violence against women in particular. Building knowledge and collecting data, we exercise citizens’ monitoring of the small arms reality around us, while advancing preventive legislation, effective enforcement and thorough transparency regarding guns in public and private spaces.

Founded in 2010, the Coalition first focused on an unseen aspect of the local security guard industry, including a phenomenon of murders and killings of intimate partners and family members carried out with company arms. We called for the implementation of Clause 10c(b) of the Firearms Law, enacted in 2008 and limiting the gun licenses of security guards to their places of work. GFKT demanded that private security firms end the (cheap) storage of guns in guards’ homes. The campaign’s success and the law’s implementation from the summer of 2013 through 2016 ended the killings and murders with security firms’ guns in families and homes. However, an amendment to the law in the spring of 2016 sent thousands of company firearms back into guards’ homes. Since, at least five murders or killings have been committed with the off-duty arms of private security firms.

In 2017 GFKT issued the report: Loose Guns: Israeli controlled small arms in the civil sphere – How many guns and how much control? This first of its kind study assessed the number of firearms in the civil sphere in Israel and looked at the bodies and parties bearing, holding and using these guns, alongside the levels of oversight exercised over firearms. Among other things, the report presented evidence for the selective, discriminatory enforcement of gun laws, causing severe damage mainly to Israel’s Palestinian citizenry and to a varying extent to other marginalized groups.

The report laid foundations for coordinated work between the Coalition and a number of Palestinian women’s organizations from Israel which embarked for the first time on focused engagement with the armed violence spreading through their society.

In opposition to the policy of mass civilian armament adopted by successive governments in Israel since 2016 and in opposition to this privatization of the state authorization to deploy armed violence, evading government responsibility to protect public security, Gun Free Kitchen Tables is growing a broad and diverse movement of resistance. This movement demands preventive, sane and transparent small arms policies, institutional and government accountability for the abusive use of firearms and much tightened gun controls that include the arms of security forces.