Movement Under Way To Arm NYC Bodega Workers

Hispanics Across America Handing Out Gun Permits Across City

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — After yet another murder last week of a bodega owner by an armed robber, there’s a push to put guns in the hands of these small business owners so they can defend themselves.

But are more guns the answer?

Fernando Mateo of Hispanics Across America said Thursday when it comes to safety, bodega owners are at a distinct disadvantage.

“We want to make sure that, these criminals, when they enter one of these bodegas, to try to rob these sitting ducks, as we may say, know that their lives may end as well,” Mateo said.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports

Standing next to him was the family of Juan Torres, the third member of their family murdered over the past decade while working in a bodega.

“I don’t know if weapons are the solution. But they do have them. Why not give the ones that are doing the right thing the chance to have them too?” said Albania Torres, the victim’s niece.

Their concern is that the bodegas are easy pickings. They’re open 24 hours a day, and they always have cash on hand.

But we couldn’t find one bodega worker who thought he’d be better off armed.

“I’m all right. I don’t need it,” Ali Ahmad said.

Rafael Arias also told CBS 2’s Don Dahler he feels safe in his neighborhood.

Some residents are also questioning the program.

“It’s a bad idea, very bad,” said Queens resident Lina Jemmot. “We don’t need any more guns on the street.”

A news conference will be held Thursday afternoon to announce the program.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently lowered the cost of a gun license from $340 to between $25 and $110, but proposed revisions will make getting a permit even harder.

“We do an awful lot of research before we give a carry permit or a permit to have a gun in your home. In New York City we take it very seriously,” Bloomberg said.

Nevertheless, Mateo and his group are determined to give all bodega owners the option, and they’re passing out gun permit applications to every store owner.

The group also wants a law requiring surveillance cameras in every bodega, but, they said, that’s not enough.

“We need protection. We need something in the hand we can defend,” bodega association president Ramon Murphy said.

As for the most recently murdered bodega owner, Juan Torres, his body was sent home to the Dominican Republic on Thursday to be buried.

More from Carol D'Auria
  • Bodega

    What are bodega workers? Is the word Spanish, Islamic?

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    We get the Best Gun Safe
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  • Pete

    You are using a computer. Do a search about crime rates in Switzerland compared to other countries.
    Switzerland has more firepower per capitta than any other country – most of that fully automatic weapons which are issued by the government to males as part of the national militia. These firearms are kept in the home. There are plenty of privately owned guns and ranges everywhere for people to use.
    With all those guns around, Switzerland has an extremely low crime rate – lower than any other country in Europe – lower than the USA..

  • Piranha

    We need to go back to being barbaric! Criminals should have limbs cut off for punishment! Maybe then criminals would think twice before stealing say a sandwich, when the punishment if caught would be losing a hand. Oh and if you run from the cops!, well the legs gotta go too. Won’t be running next time! People make decisions based on two things. PAIN or PLEASURE! Most people will not do things they think will bring them pain. So it is time to start taking limbs for punishment! That is all :)

  • Marty

    In my store, I have more than one gun at my disposal at any time. They are loaded and ready to go. A society that is equally armed is less likely to have problems than one that is disproportionately armed. Gun laws only help the criminals who do not obey them. Anybody who thinks otherwise has very, very flawed logic.

  • Simon

    If robbers know store owners have guns they will probably just shoot them first then ask questions. We need to make stores safe and not alow guns in them and since robbers dont listen to laws we have to make sure the people who do obey laws dont have guns. Hello. Is a sandwich worth your life? Maybe the robbers get their guns from Vermont and New Jersey who let anybody buy dangerous guns. We need to make sure guns cant be sold and brought into New York.

    • Parashooter

      Simon, this is a recurring theme – YOU are an IDIOT! It already IS illegal to purchase handguns in other states to bring into New York… Next moron, New Jersey? it takes MONTHS to purchase a handgun in NJ – Oh, and BTW, there are no ‘dangerous guns’ The gun is just a lump of metal, without someone pulling the trigger it does nothing.

      As far as your dimwitted comment about a sandwich not being worth your life… No, it’s not. But the little detail your narrow little mind missed is that you can give the robber a sandwich, and he’ll kill you anyway!

      Do us a favor and stop posting until you’re 18, and can figure out how to gather some facts first.

  • rob

    Glad to see these men and women are exercising their second amendment rights.

  • peter

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

    What part of this doesn’t NYC/NY State understand?, in Vermont where there is NO gun control, there are very little gun related crimes, as opposed to NYC, DC, Chicago, LA, where some of the most strict gun laws are in place, resulting in dis-armed law abiding citizens, that are easy victims for criminals that DO NOT follow gun laws, what part of this is so hard to comprehend ?

    • peter

      @myself, what is the difference between Vermont and the cities with draconian gun laws ? I’ll give you one guess, it’s too obvious to mention.

      It involves being part of the “civilized” human race, not about only doing what feels good and stickin’ every b!tch you can.

  • JOe

    Good for them. Better that law abiding citizens can defend themselves against criminals; instead of their wife or kids holding a candle at their grave. All law abiding citizens should get their license and uphold their constitutional right instead of giving the streets to the skells of society. Remember, gun violence happens in “GUN FREE ZONES”.

  • Kyle

    It’s very simple. Poor hardworking Latinos and Asians want to protect themselves and their jobs, but black thugs and black thug worshipers won’t have any of their “boys” put in danger when they want to violently rob a store.

    • Clark Ken-ton

      …yep…maybe they should rob people like the OTHERS do…with a pen…and a savings bank…or a corporation…or a mortgage…or a keystroke…or a……

      • Kyle

        And both groups doing the violent crime and the white collar crime are a “protected” class in this country. I think we all know what it is, but guess what, you can’t do a single thing about it. Only when the country is on its last breath will people realize, maybe.

  • Simon

    People shouldnt be aloud to kill each other with guns. If these stores are so dangerous that they need guns then there should be a law saying you cant have a store. Simple as that. Robbers have guns and will kill you if you try to shoot them so we need to make sure people dont have guns and get shot. Maybe if they spent more money helping poor people and less on guns they woudnt need to rob anymore.

    • peter

      @Simon, you’re an idiot. I guess the criminal element will turn in their guns when they realize there are not stores to rob, correct ?

      Poor people need to help themselves. Stop having babies out of wedlock, stop smoking weed, stop hanging out to 3AM in the streets, instead go to school, and get an education it’s free!!!!

      It should be mandatory that you have an IQ > 100 before you can vote, it would week out idiots like you that constantly vote for a welfare state.

  • D

    Simon, are you saying the police shouldn’t have guns? If the police have guns but the rest of us don’t then we are subservient to the police/government, do you want to be a citizen or a slave? Face the facts, bad guys have guns, good guys don’t, so bad guys rob good guys with no fear. If good guys have guns, bad guys don’t want to get shot, bad guys try to find someone who won’t be able to shoot them to rob. The first step in personal protection is to become a hard target. Using a gun to level the playing field is the easiest and most effective way to stop bad guys. If you think no one should be able to own guns move to Mexico, their gun laws are helping them immensely right now, aren’t they?

  • Simon

    These poor people are only robbing because they need the money and cant find jobs. Hello everybody this is the worst economy ever. If the store owners have guns then the robbers may shoot the owners in self defense. Hasn’t anyone thought of that???? Just let them take what they want and stay alive. The robbers have the guns and are not afraid to shoot. Nobody should be aloud to have guns legally.

    • peter

      @Simon, idiot, there is something called the second amendment, without the second amendment there would be no first amendment.

      How did we win 2 wars, with guns. I don’t even know why I bother responding to your idiotic drek.

    • JOe

      …I can see the sarcasm dripping from this post.

  • jtorres

    While I do agree the core problems of poor economy, gang violence, etc. should be addresed, that has been tried and has failed repeatedly. Bodega owners are an ideal target for robbers. They work late, sometimes alone and run a cash only business. i have friends who have owned bodegas and legally owned guns.. These guns are not “concealed weapons” and they can NOT be used outside the confines of their business. carry permits are next to impossible to get unless you are a peace officer. However you are allowed to have and keep a permitted gun in your home or place of business and are allowed to use it to protect your life, the life of your loved ones or your place of business. If that’s allowed under the law, i say let them protect themselves the only way they sometimes can. maybe they won’t be considered as vunerable

  • BC

    Now suppose some thug comes into one of those armed bodegas with something more powerful than what the store owner has, and the thug gets their hands on store owner’s gun. We would then have a gun on the street registered to a store owner, now being used in violent crimes. While the idea of store owners having a chance at deterring violent crime is a sound idea, it is not the solution we should be implementing. We need to solve the core problem of why these crimes are happening in the first place: poor economy, drug trade, gang violence, wayward teens, etc. If we worked on solving those problems and fostered a sense of community instead of pushing an ‘every man for himself’ mentality, we wouldn’t need to arm anyone and neighborhoods could be made safe again. It figures all the 2nd Amendment hounds would come out on this one. Someone attempted to mug me years ago, and I didn’t need a gun to defend myself…I beat the mess out of the guy. You do have the right to bear arms…you were born with two of them. Use what you’ve got!

    • pete

      BC not everyone is a superman like you and can beat the mess out of the perpetrator..Did he have a gun or did he put it down and said lets have a fair fight.
      nobody has found a way to make these people give up there robbing ways.
      I haven’t found two arms yet that can out dual any firearm .so until you come up with the plan to make people want to give up there robbing ways. so keep trying to beat the mess out of armed robbers let me know how you make out the next time.

    • peter

      You are an example of the typical NYC liberal idiot that knows nothing about self preservation.

  • clam pop

    indian immmigrants are the new black man, and they’re going to leave the brothers in the dust! arm these people to the teeth, they’re hard working people!

  • blunted on reality

    this will spawn a new style of bodega owner hip hop. The people who can’t get enough of the struggling to survive in the ghetto hip hop will now have a whole new genre of struggling to own a bodega in the ghetto that is only there to better your own dam community hip hop. no-one will care that you were raised in the projects by stray dogs, because the bodega lifestyle is far worse!!! ahahahahah

  • The Good Samartian

    This is not right.

    Store owners do not have the right to bear arms

    • Hornet Montana

      You have the right to bear arms, wear short sleeves.

      But seriously, if a bodega owner has to carry a gun, don’t you think he’s going to increase the chances of spilling a customer’s coffee or counting change in a timely fashion or mistakenly shooting a customer because the empenadas touched the hair trigger?

    • peter

      Maybe not to bare arms, but to bear arms it is their constitutional right, if they are law abiding citizens, plain and simple.

  • bobby batts

    very very bad horrible stupid idea, everyone know guys are for cops and robbers. no need for anyone to protect them selves, there is always a cop around to protect you

    • Jay Scott

      I believe I detect a bit of sarcasm.

    • kg

      have you ever been mugged? Have you ever been physically assaulted? If so were the cops there to help in that split second. No. As an American you have the ‘RIGHT’ to keep and bare arms–bare means on your body.

  • tim b

    This past weekend in Laurelton, Queens, a robbery suspect – who is still on the lose – walked into the Lucky Grocery and Deli and murdered 54-year-old store clerk Juan Torres.

    Who spell checks this stuff???

  • Rocky

    So that means a store owners have a right to bear arms so should the public that walks the streets also should have the rights to bear arms. EYE FOR A EYE

    • Rugbyball

      If I understand your comment, your saying if the deli owners are allowed guns so should the public at large. If that is what your saying then good news. General public are allowed to carry guns so long as you fill out the same forms and meet the same requirements under the law that the deli owner has to. Its the right to bear arms, not the right for deli owners to bear arms.
      Hope this helps.

      • mike

        bobby batts maybe you didn’t read the Supreme court decision this past June. Police are not obliged to protect you only ENFORCE the LAW. So remember that when your being robbed and possible killed that the cop 200 ft away may caught the criminal, But you’ll only have a candle or flower to mark where you fell, but a pice of stone to mark your grave. Your the only one obliged to protect yourself and family and if you don;t want to do that DON’T stop other from that RIGHT.

  • See it

    good news right, here is the bad news about the disease taking over this country

    • Mel

      “It’s a bad idea, very bad,” said Queens resident Lina Jemmot. “We don’t need anymore guns on the street.”

      No Lina Jemmot. Those guns will be in the delis not on the street. Furthermore, you have no say in what is the lawfully protected constitutional right of another citizen, so long as that citizen has not, or is not infringing on your rights, and is following the letter of the law.

      Imagine if someone else expressed an opinion about not wanting you to freely make comments “on the streets”. How would you respond?

      • Clark Ken-ton

        …you men, Mel…like YOU just did….?

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