At a Novi ammunition store, masks aren’t just optional – they’re prohibited.
Fenix Ammunition is flouting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order that requires customers to wear masks in businesses, notifying customers that they aren't allowed inside the store unless they remove their protective face coverings.
“DUE TO THE NATIONWIDE RISE IN VIOLENT ATTACKS BY MASK-WEARING THUGS, WE WILL NOT PROVIDE SERVICE TO ANY PERSON WEARING A MASK,” reads a sign taped to the business. “FURTHERMORE, THE NATURE OF OUR BUSINESS NECESSITATES POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION OF OUR CUSTOMERS. YOU MUST REMOVE YOUR MASK UPON ENTERING THIS PREMISES, OR YOU WILL NOT BE SERVED.”
The shop is openly defiant on its Twitter page
, even calling Whitmer a “bitch.” Under Whitmer’s order, businesses that violate the mask order may temporarily lose their license.
“We’ll never comply, and we’ll refuse to pay any penalty your illegal order attempts to impose,” the shop tweeted on July 10, a day after Whitmer expanded the mask directive.
On Aug. 31, Fenix Ammunition boasted about its anti-mask policy. When one follower said “Gretchen gonna be mad,” the store responded, “She can waddle her ass out here and tell us herself, if she wants.”
When reached for comment, the man who answered the phone at the shop declined to elaborate on its policy.
“I think the sign speaks for itself,” the man tells Metro Times
. “In general, we don’t speak to reporters.”
Oakland County spokesman Bill Mullan tells Metro Times
that the county takes the issue seriously.
"Oakland County Health Division is very concerned when a business risks the health of its customers and employees during the pandemic by requiring facial coverings to be removed in violation of the State of Michigan order," Mullan says. "We are notifying our partners at the state of the risk to public health so they can determine the next steps and best course of action."
Ryan Jarvis, spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, says the state typically relies on local police to enforce the mask policy.
“Violations of the Governor’s executive orders should be directed to law enforcement agencies overseeing the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred,” Jarvis tells Metro Times
. “We trust the local law enforcement professionals to use their authority and discretion when responding to reports of violations of the executive orders.”
Novi police did not return a call for comment.
On its Twitter page, the shop said it has sold 12 million rounds of ammunition since January. Gun sales across the country have risen sharply
since the coronavirus pandemic and protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May.
Fenix Ammunition is using Twitter to drum up fear about protests.
“Antifa are stalking and killing American citizens,” the shop tweeted last month. “If you haven't bought a gun and if you aren't carrying it every day, you're far behind where you need to be.”
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