Civil rights advocates make the case for science constrained by individual liberty

November 23, 2020 – BUFFALO, N.Y. – On the evening of Friday, November 20, 2020, an Erie County Health Department Agent and two Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies forced their way onto the private premises of Athletes Unleashed in Orchard Park. These government agents converged on the athletics training center to suppress the First Amendment rights of those on site.

Just one week ago, Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard assured county residents that his office would not be enforcing Cuomo’s 10-person limit edict on Thanksgiving.

“I have no plans to utilize my office’s resources or deputies to break up the great tradition of Thanksgiving dinner,” Sheriff Howard said just over one week ago. “This national holiday has created longstanding family traditions that are at the heart of America, and these traditions should not be stopped or interrupted by Governor (Andrew) Cuomo’s mandates.”

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Unfortunately, we saw Erie County Sheriff’s deputies forcing their way onto private property to break up gatherings of 10 persons or more about one week prior to Thanksgiving. Civil rights advocates posed a question to the Sheriff today: “What’s the difference?” If the 10-person mandate is unconstitutional on Thanksgiving, it is likewise unconstitutional before and after Thanksgiving.

“With the legislature and the court system abandoning their roles as effective checks on the power seized by now Supreme Ruler of New York State Andrew Cuomo, the Office of the Sheriff must step in to fill both roles through non-enforcement,” 2ANYS Founder Steve Felano said. “Thus, and I’ll quote our president here, I’m asking Sheriff Howard to ‘Stand Back and Stand By’ on enforcement of all COVID-1984 edicts issued by Cuomo. Sheriff Howard must make it explicitly clear that the resources of his office will, under no circumstances, be utilized to assist any other government entity in enforcing Cuomo’s COVID-1984 mandates. Full stop.”

During an afternoon press conference today, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, touting his years of experience as an attorney, stated the Erie County Sheriff’s Office is obligated to support the County Department of Health on COVID-1984 enforcement activities “because it’s the law.” On this point, Poloncarz is incorrect. The governor’s COVID-1984 mandates are executive orders that do not carry the same force as a law legitimately passed by the state legislature.

Additionally, Poloncarz stated that County Deputies entering Athletes Unleashed, a private business, uninvited this past Friday, was the same as the police responding to a criminal complaint. This assertion is likewise false, as Cuomo’s executive orders are not equivalent to criminal statutes and carry with them only civil penalties at best.

In summation, Erie County Deputies partner with the Department of Health on COVID-1984 enforcement at the pleasure and discretion of the Sheriff, and today’s false statements by Poloncarz to the contrary simply demonstrate that he is out of touch with the law and illustrate the overall frailty of state power imposed by executive fiat.

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“I would like to go on record saying that any business that provides a livelihood for someone to pay their bills and feed their family is essential, and that should be the stance we take,” Erie County Libertarian Party Chair Duane Whitmer said. “One last thing to the Sheriff’s Deputies watching this…please band with the people, fight with us, do not escort the Health Department.”

“These days, we have a country where dictators rule by decree, exercising powers never delegated to them by the people,” CEO James Ostrowski said. “These days, we’re the ones locked into our homes. We’re the ones who need permission from the secret police to travel and are met by National Guard at the airport asking us where we’ve been, where we’re going. That was the bad guys in the World War II movies. Who’s the bad guys now?”

Felano is one of several Western New York plaintiffs, including Erie County Libertarian Party Chair Duane Whitmer, driving a comprehensive lawsuit filed on May 15, 2020 against members of the Cuomo regime. CEO James Ostrowski is also involved in the lawsuit. The aggressive legal action cites a myriad of emergency power abuses amid the COVID-1984 pandemic. The lawsuit remains motionless in federal court while spineless judges continue to rubber stamp every instance of executive overreach perpetrated by the Cuomo regime.

2ANYS is New York State’s premier civilian rearmament enterprise securing maximal Second Amendment civil rights by, with, and through The People. At the tip of the spear in the fight against progressive gun control, their innovative strategies expand non-compliance with, and non-enforcement and repeal of, Albany’s imperial disarmament edicts. 2ANYS promotes a strong martial culture across New York State through firearms proficiency development, combat tactics training, and firearms industry events. The enterprise actively educates the public on the immense successes delivered by America’s Second Amendment, and the deplorable suffering imposed by governments that forcefully disarm their citizens. By, with, and through The People, 2ANYS will defeat Albany’s unconstitutional civilian disarmament industrial complex, and pass that victory on to the next generation to defend as their own. Learn more at WWW.2ANYS.COM.