A New Jersey gym owner has no plans to back down in his battle with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 lockdowns despite racking up more than $1.2 million in fines.
Atilis Gym owner Ian Smith says despite the governor’s best attempts to shut him down, he will not back down. “Gov. Murphy has thrown everything he possibly could to shut us down. He has arrested my partner and I, given us over 60 citations, some of them criminal. He fines us $15,497.76 per day for every day we’re in operation. Our fines are totaling over $1.2 million, but every single day, Frank and I open our gym,” Smith said on Fox News program “America Newsroom”
The Bellmawr, New Jersey, gym owner claims that while more than 83,000 visitors have come through his gym, not a single case of COVID-19 has been traced to his fitness facility.
“What’s happening to the middle class and small businesses in America is nothing short of a complete tragedy. I would go so far as to call it criminal. You are putting people out of business for good. You are making them reliant on big government. You are taking away their civil liberties under the guise of pretending like you care about public health,” Smith said.
Smith also took to his Twitter account to let politicians know how he feels about lockdowns in general, saying “Politicians your time is up. You pushed too far and there is no going back. Not only will we defiantly reject all lockdowns and return to normal, but we are going to primary and run every single one of you who supported these oppressive, draconian measures out of office for good.”
Smith plans to roll out a national online directory of businesses defying COVID lockdowns in the next week. The site is also expected to provide a resource center for businesses wanting to know how to handle police, while also providing fundraising and legal help.