Bill Gives Tougher Penalties to Store Owners

Bill Gives Tougher Penalties to Store Owners

JUNE 5, 2005 -- Convenience stores can be an easy place to get the items you need, especially in deprived neighborhoods. In these areas it's often a long distance drive to a Wal-Mart or a Harris Teeter.

"It's like a meeting place really. People get the things that they need. It's like a social tradition," says Michael Reid.

These small stores can often attract criminal activity such as drug dealing and gambling. State Representative Deborah Ross of Raleigh has a proposed a bill that would revoke the alcohol license of a store that knows criminal activity is going on their premises. This only applies if the store is allowing the criminal activity to continue without stepping in in some way.

Matthew Lemon owns the Dawson Street Mini Mart. He says store owners who allow that activity are bad for business.

The state hopes the proposed bill will help make neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Reported by Samuel King