Ian Smith, one of the owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, has found himself as one of the figures at the forefront of a small business movement in New Jersey. Smith spoke with Todd Starnes on the “Todd Starnes Show” this week to talk about the controversy surrounding his gym.Defying the state government, the gym opened up on May 18, and tons of customers showed up. The peaceful protesters were met with a surprising yet encouraging response from the local law enforcement. After the officer told the crowd to stay safe, he left them alone, and a “USA” chanting ensued.
After this display of defiance, the state began to issue citations to the small business, and one gym member was even arrested. As the week has gone on, law enforcement has started harassing the customers.
“They set up a camera in the parking lot,” Smith said about the state’s extreme measures, “and they were following our members once they left the gym and giving them citations.”
For him personally, the state is now sending Smith his business’s citations via mail.When the lockdown started, Atilis Gym obediently followed. However, with no end to the restrictions in sight, Smith said enough was enough.
“We were tired of being stampeded on what looks like to be a political war of conflicting ideologies,” Smith added.
Smith said that the many supporters that are still backing them are the main reason that they have been able to stand up against the oppressive state government.“We had no choice, we had to stand up for our civil liberties,” he said.