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Snohomish barber openly defies Washington's stay-home orders

Bob Martin says he was emboldened by Sheriff Adam Fortney's announcement that he wouldn't enforce the lockdown.

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — Bob Martin has operated 'The Stag Barbershop' in the same location in Snohomish for 51 years.

It's a place where a copy of the U.S. Constitution hangs on the wall beside animal pelts.

A place where Martin just might offer you a shot of whisky as you sit in his chair and talk politics.

"There's a lot of people who think the way that I do," he said. "They just don't have enough gonads to open up and do business."

After initially closing when Governor Jay Inslee issued his 'Stay Home' order, Martin said he had to use his social security check to pay the rent.

He started secretly taking in customers after hours to help pay the bills, his salon becoming a sort of speakeasy.

Martin said he was emboldened to fully reopen after Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney announced he would not enforce the governor's stay home order, calling it "unconstitutional."

RELATED: Snohomish County sheriff won't enforce stay-at-home order

"I don't agree with the order," Martin said. "I think it should be lifted because it's not as dangerous as people want to make us believe that it is."

Inslee's order has now been extended until at least May 31, something Martin said is putting small businesses across this state at risk of never reopening.

"The governor shouldn't be overstepping his bounds to keep people from making a livelihood," Martin said. "I think Inslee ought to be listening to Trump instead of acting like a dictator."

So Martin is taking matters in his own hands, going back to "business as usual."

He's not observing social distancing at his shop, but he won't serve anyone who is sick.

"I do have masks and rubber gloves I could use, but I haven't felt the need to," he said.

At 79-years-old Martin is at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus due to his age. Even so, he isn't worried about getting sick.

"I spent a few years in the Marine Corps," Martin said. "I'm just not concerned about it."

For now, Martin hangs a sign in his front window sarcastically claiming to be an "essential service." 

He is not, though, at least not according to Governor Inslee.

But this barber cuts the governor no slack.

"He needs to grow a set of gonads and stand up for what's right," said Martin. "If you don't have enough balls to do what's right, stay home and suffer."

RELATED: Gov. Inslee extends Washington’s stay home order through May 31

RELATED: What's allowed during Washington's reopening? Here are the four phases