In the wake of the horrific machete attack at a Hanukkah party in Monsey, N.Y. in December, the number of gun applications has spiked nearly 1,000%, according to the Rockland County Clerk's office, as reported by the New York Post.
Following the Dec. 28 attack, in which five people were stabbed, there were 65 new gun permit applications in the county and all but five came from the town that includes Monsey, a heavily Jewish community.
"In the eight weeks prior to the attack, the clerk office’s took in an average of only six applications a week countywide," said The Post. From 6 to 65 is a 983% increase.
Erik Melanson, a Jew and the owner of Precision Gunsmiths, which is near Monsey, told The Post, "A lot of people are worried, especially the large Hasidic and Jewish community in Rockland County."
“I have had rabbis come in," he said. "Some of the rabbis already have concealed carry” permits.
Melanson showed reporters his own pistol, which is engraved with the Star of David and the words, "The Hebrew Hammer."
Monsey resident Shlomo Reichberg, a former Israeli soldier, told The Post, “I spoke to some people. They just want to have a firearm to protect themselves. They feel like that’s the only way. If we need to go there, we’re ready.”
There have been several attacks against Jews in New York and New Jersey in recent weeks. Orthodox Jews walking down the street have been assaulted in incidents that are not unlike the harassment and persecution of Jews in 1930s Germany.