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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Eruv and Carrying

Carrying gun on Shabbos

Question
I live in a growing Jewish community in Northeast PA and would like to know if I (and other legally armed members) may carry a pistol on Shabbos. There is an eruv but mostly not serviced lately. There was a period of a few weeks where on Shabbos there were frozen eggs thrown at us and the question is if one can carry for a sufek pikuach nefesh these days (terrorism and forever antisemitism) or we need to wait for a calamity in the local area.
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. It is sad to hear that the situation in your town even warrants such a question. May you, together with Jews all over the world, be blessed with safety and peace. May the goodness of Am Yisrael shine out to the world, and be a bringer of harmony and understanding. As to the issue you raise – let me send you to a link that will give you some background information on this issue. https://www.ou.org/torah/halacha/halacha-on-ou/carrying-gun-shabbos-issues-possible-conclusions/ In your case you should first work to make certain that the eruv is up and checked regularly under Rabbinic supervision. If the eruv is good – then the question of carrying the gun is much easier to allow. If though you are unable to make certain that the eruv is good, then we will need to make a judgement call as to if the situation is considered possibly life threatening (G-d forbid) or not. Of course, such a call can only be made with a clear and deep knowledge of the situation. This would best be done by a local Rabbi after consulting with security experts (such as the local police, and synagogue security etc). It certainly cannot be answered “online” from overseas. Again – may your community be blessed with peace, and may you all merit to arise to Zion speedily I our days. Blessings.
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