BELLMAWR, N.J. – A gym in southern New Jersey has reopened for business in defiance of a state order that shut down nonessential businesses to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.
People began gathering outside the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr several hours before it reopened at 8 a.m. Monday.
“We are and only were here for everybody’s safety today. We planned for the worst and hoped for the best, and it seems like that’s what we have out here today,” the officer said to the owners and surrounding crowd.
“Formally, you are all in violation of the executive order. On that note, have a good day. Everybody be safe,” the officer said before walking away as the crowd erupted in cheers.
An attorney representing the gym tells FOX 29’s Alex George that they later received a summons for disorderly conduct from Camden County police. New Jersey State Police say the patrons inside the gym were issued warnings.
The owners have said the decision to resume operations at the members-only facility was not about financial gain, but rather a question of Constitutional rights. They also say they plan on opening up again on Tuesday.
“We think so far, this has been just a gross violation of constitutional rights,” said Atilis Gym owner Ian Smith in an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight. “The 14th Amendment states that no state shall pass any law that infringes upon our rights as citizens, and we’ve been forced into our homes. Enough is enough.”