More NYC Bodega Owners Arming Themselves as Crime Soars in the City

by Tommy Grant

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The National Supermarket Association, which represents roughly 600 independent grocers, estimated a quarter of its members in the [New York City] are packing heat, compared to 10% pre-pandemic.

“You see the necessity because the city is getting out of hand with the crime rate,” said one supermarket owner, who purchased a 9mm SIG Sauer handgun two months ago, after thieves cut a hole in the roof of his Ridgewood, Queens, store to steal $3,000 and smash up the registers and camera system.

“I feel safer having a . . . weapon with me,” the 50-year-old said, especially when going to the bank.

The gun-toting grocer said he hasn’t had to use his firearm, but practices once a week for the worst-case scenario where he needs to defend himself and his staff.

“I don’t know who is coming in, what I’ll confront, on my way in, on my way out,” he said.

Radhames Rodriguez, who owns several bodegas in the Bronx, said he purchased a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol after obtaining his concealed-carry license two months ago.

“If I see somebody coming to me and I’m going to lose my life because somebody’s got a gun aimed at me, a knife, I need to protect myself and my family,” said Rodriguez, 60, who is also the UBA president.

— Matthew Sedeacca in NYC bodega owners, grocers arming themselves with guns amid violent thefts plaguing Big Apple

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