A business owner in Florida has received death threats after he banned customers from wearing masks inside his bar.
“We find it completely unnecessary to have face masks at all. We do not support them. We do not believe in them,” Gary Kirby, the owner of Westside Sports Bar and Lounge in West Melbourne, Florida, told WESH 2.
Kirby says he has received death threats and negative reviews on social media from around the United States, but hundreds of people have reached out to him in support of his no-mask policy.
Customers are required to undergo temperature checks before entering the bar. Those who choose to wear a mask inside would be asked to remove it. If a customer did not comply, they would be “forced to leave” the bar.
Kirby’s bar was burgled in August, and the perpetrator wore a surgical mask. Kirby said police told him that “criminals would be capitalizing on the mask mandate all over using it to their advantage to get away with crimes.”
Local police confirmed that Kirby filed a police report but added has been “uncooperative” with the investigation and declined to speak to detectives, according to Fox News. Kirby said that the police suspect the incident was an “inside job.”
Regulations in Brevard County require businesses to advertise their mask policies at the entrances to their establishments, but they do not require patrons to wear masks inside of businesses.
“We simply encourage residents to follow CDC recommendations — which is to wear a mask. Period,” Don Walker, the communications director for Brevard County, said in a statement.
According to the Florida Department of Health, there were 631,000 total cases of the coronavirus in Florida and 13,287 deaths as of Saturday afternoon.
Author: Carly Ortiz-Lytle
Source: Washington Examiner: Florida bar owner receives death threats after banning ‘completely unnecessary’ masks