A Bodega owners' trade group has begun distributing gun permit applications to eligible owners.
The Association of Bodegueros of the United States has begun handing out gun permit applications to qualified grocery owners throughout New York City.
The effort comes days after the city dropped fees for a gun permit from $340 to a maximum of $110. Al Lopez owns a bodega in the Bronx, and has worked in the business with his family all his life. He says the more bodega owners who own guns, the fewer crimes we’ll see committed against them.
“I would say that the criminal element would start thinking two… and three times about doing something to store owners or readily saying ‘Well, we can just take over this place."
Lopez compared store workers having guns to a country having an army; rarely used, but vital for protection and deterrence. Opponents of the effort say more guns will only increase violence, and store owners who want more protection should look at other options.