THE BRONX - The Bodega Association and many community activists are demanding new safety measures following the deaths of workers in The Bronx and New Jersey this month.

During a press conference in Newark Sunday, the organization that represents store clerks said that they should be able to defend and protect themselves by choosing to carry a gun or wear a bullet proof vest.

Reynaldo Cuevas, 20, was accidentally shot and killed by police during an armed robbery in Morrisania. The family's lawyer, Sandford Rubenstein, says vests are a progressive idea, but believes more guns could just create more problems.

Spokesperson Fernando Mateo says he has not talked with Mayor Michael Bloomberg about the proposal, but will make suggestions to the proper authorities.