Group Wants All Bodega Owners To Own Guns

The President of Hispanics Across America plans to start a pilot program to arm small business owners in New York City with guns.

Fernando Mateo represents the Bodegueros Association. He plans to hand out gun applications to qualified bodega owners across the city starting on Thursday.

"Now that Mayor Bloomberg has lowered the prices of the application, bodega owners will apply for hand guns. We must send a message to criminals, if you rob a bodega you can lose your life in the process," said Mateo.

The push, called "Guns For All" comes after a store owner was killed in a robbery last week.

Saturday night Juan Torres, 54, was in the back of the store watching a baseball game when a robber burst in and put a gun to his younger brother's head. Torres rushed out and tried hit the robber with a hammer but was shot dead.

Torres left a wife and four children. His older brother was also murdered in a robbery at the market 11 years earlier.

"If he had a gun he could have defended himself. We must allow bodega owners the right to carry a gun and defend themselves," said Ramon Murphy President of the Bodega Association.

The Bodega Association is also calling for a city law that requires cameras in the neighborhood markets.

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