“They have violated everybody’s constitutional rights,” says the co-owner of a NJ gym who was arrested after reopening. “We all have the right to make a living… to actually do what we want to do as Americans. We are promised liberty.” https://t.co/zLfdpaUflG pic.twitter.com/SslPQvGMle
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) August 5, 2020
They argued that an executive order by Gov. Phil Murphy, D-N.J., requiring gyms to close is “oppressive,” “unacceptable” and discriminatory.
“They have violated everyone’s constitutional rights,” Atilis Gym co-owner Frank Trumbetti said of New Jersey officials.
“We all have the right to make a living,” he continued. “We all have the right to actually do what we want to do as Americans. We are promised liberty. And they have actually put such oppressive restrictions on us that it’s just unacceptable to us.”
Trumbetti and Ian Smith have opened the doors to Atilis Gym every day for the past several weeks, despite Murphy’s attempts to shut them down.
The gym has received countless fines, which are being paid by a GoFundMe the two owners established, and residents who enter the gym are handed citations by officers immediately after walking out.
The tension between the state and the gym reached an all-time high last week when Trumbetti and Smith were arrested after kicking down the boards the state had put on their gym’s windows in an effort to prevent them from opening the gym.
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I hate the fact that it has to come to this. Governor Murphy can portray us in whatever villainous way he wants, but our hands are forced here and that’s his fault. We are over 4 months into an economic shutdown that was supposed to be 14 days. It is time to end this and resume life in a safe and responsible manner. Small business is not solely responsible for the spread of the virus yet we are targeted as such and unfairly treated. You will not trample on our rights and you will not destroy our lives. We will not back down. Ever. Please share this to show what lengths we have to go to just to make a living for our families.
“We’re being villainized as small businesses in general, that we’re responsible for the spread,” Smith told Cuomo. “But over 50% of the deaths are coming from places that are supposed to be under a governor’s control.”
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is now recommending a daily $10,000 fine if Trumbetti and Smith continue to reopen their gym, and local officials are threatening to revoke the gym’s license permanently.
Smith and Trumbetti, however, said they have no intention of shutting things back down.
“We are over 4 months into an economic shutdown that was supposed to be 14 days,” Smith said. “It’s time to end this and resume life in a safe and responsible manner.”