PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WTXF) - The push to remove bulletproof barriers inside Philly convenient stores just got past another hurdle.
The Public Health and Human Services Committee has passed a bill which enables the city's Licenses and Inspections department to regulate the bullet-resistant barricade that stands between customers and cash registers in many neighborhood corner stores.
The bill moving through city council reads: "No establishment shall erect or maintain a physical barrier."
It's called the 'Stop and Go' bill and is being offered by City Councilwoman Cindy Bass.
"Right now, the Plexiglas has to come down," she said.
She says she wants to put some controls on these small stores that, from her point of view, sell booze, very little food and are a source of trouble for her district.
"We want to make sure that there isn't this sort of indignity, in my opinion, to serving food through a Plexiglas only in certain neighborhoods," Councilwoman Bass said.
Broad Deli owner Rich Kim resents the charge stores like his attract loiters and argues that calls to police are often met with a slow response.
"The most important thing is safety and the public's safety," Kim told FOX 29.
Kim's family has run the deli, which sells soda, snacks, meals and beer by the can, for 20 years. He says the glass went up after a shooting and claims it saved his mother-in-law from a knife attack. Now, he may be forced to take some of the barrier down.
"If the glass comes down, the crime rate will rise and there will be lots of dead bodies," he said.
Many of the 230 Asian beer deli owners feel as though they are being singled out and are among those protesting the bill.
A full council vote is slated for Thursday, December 14.