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City council member walks out after council refuses to ban guns from meeting

CouncilOAK HARBOR, Wash. — How, when and why individuals should carry guns is a debate heating up around the nation.

And for one small Washington town, the debate recently got a little hotter.

During a Jan. 15 Oak Harbor City Council meeting, one council member walked out after his motion to ban all guns from the council — concealed carry or otherwise– failed to pass.

Councilman Rick Almberg suggested the motion shortly after military veteran Lucas Yonkman got up and spoke in support of law-abiding citizens carrying guns, and admitted to the council that he had a gun on him at all times.

“It’s very important (to carry guns), not just for the protection of me, but for the protection of American people for all purposes,” Yonkman said.

When the man finished, Councilman Almberg made a motion that anyone with a gun be asked to check the weapon with the police chief or leave the premises. The motion came to a vote and failed in a 2-4. Almberg immediately excused himself and walked out of the room.

Video of the meeting from the Island Politics blog

The Whidbey Island News Times reported that the confrontation amped up a gun control debate in Oak Harbor. The city has recently debated whether or not people should be allowed to carry firearms in public places like parks or council chambers. The News Times reported that Almberg has wanted to ban guns in these places, even though such a ban could go against state law.

Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley has been an outspoken critic of a potential ban, the News Times reported. Dudley apologized to the citizen for the council’s vote afterwards.

“I apologize for the situation,” Dudley said to Yonkman. “They are trying to take your right to bear arms away.”

Dudley then voiced his support for Oak Harbor citizens carrying guns.

“I, on the other hand, feel safer that you are here.”

Almberg previously wrote a letter to the News Times, stating that he wants to bring where and when people should carry guns to the forefront of the city’s discussion.

“So the issue is not whether possession of a gun in certain locations can be regulated; it’s a matter of which places state lawmakers are willing to regulate,” Almberg told the News Times. “In the view of recent mass shootings, I think this is a subject that needs immediate attention.”

42 comments

  • Meghan

    What a diva. I hope he doesn’t come back. We need people who aren’t going to throw temper tantrums when they don’t get their way, not this bologna.

  • John

    You would think that Oak Harbor would have learned from Seattle's failed attempt at banning guns in parks and losing the lawsuit against them. Almberg doesn't care – it's not his money that will be wasted in the lawsuit.

  • Buck

    What part of “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be ingfringed” doesn’t Almberg understand ?

    Will parks be ever so much safer, if honest folks are denied their defensive weapons ??
    might Almberg feel safer, spouting his leftist drivel, if there are no armed citizens there to hear it..? (now, That one may have some self-serving validity for the beleaguered councilman…)

  • jane

    Im a criminal. I have killed hindreds with knives and strangulation. Go ahead and ban guns and ill keep doing my dirty work hahahahahahahahajaj

  • Paul Whitfield

    Maybe, just maybe, the citizens of Oak Harbor will LEARN from this and not re-elect a premadonna that cares more about himself than the job he was elected to do!

  • Jacob

    A great example of how a gun owner should be: Respectful, modest, trained, professional, and honest. That councilman should be told that the first most likely victim, in the case a madman walked in there, is the unsuspecting Sheriff. If he is down, that leaves the people in chambers unarmed, except for maybe this good guy with a CCL, who happens to be more experienced and qualified with firearms than the Sheriff. I mean really… asking someone to give up their gun and 2nd amendment right (even if temporarily) to another guy with a gun… so he feels safer? Not logical.

  • Mr Holmes

    Know what make me sad? HE DOES! Maybe we should chug on over to mamzy pamzy lans where maybe we can find him some sel confidence he's a Jack Wagon who need a box of tissue thrown at him!

  • Todd

    Does the councilman actually think that a ban would stop a person with evil intent from carrying the gun into one of those locations? All he would accomplish is disarming law abiding citizens, the criminal would obviously ignore that law as well as the others they're already planning to break.

  • Tay

    Correction: I live in Oak Harbor, and this article is misleading, in saying, "the city has recently debated whether or not people should be allowed to carry firearms in public places like parks or council chambers. The News Times reported that Almberg has wanted to ban guns in these places, even though such a ban could go against state law." While, yes, Almberg wants the ban, the ban is ALREADY on the books, it has been on the books for a long time. The said debate is to get them to take it OFF the books before someone sues the city.

    • Cliff

      The ban is sort of on the books.

      In Ordinance 1071 § 41, 1996 the City adopted the State regulations for firearms.

      Our city code states:

      6.05.370 Firearms and dangerous weapons.
      The following sections of RCW Title 9 as now in effect, and as may subsequently be amended, are hereby adopted by reference to establish crimes relating to firearms and dangerous weapons under the Oak Harbor criminal code:

      6.05.370 completely adopts RCW 9.41 which supercedes all laws on firearms in the City of Oak Harbor.

      This is simply a housekeeping issue with the city code where remnants of the old city code on firearms were mistakenly left on the books under past administrations.

      This has been blown way out of proportions by those Councilment that wish to create an issue concerning firearms that does not exist. We have already adopted the State RCW as our code and those laws allow firearms in Parks, City Council meetings and elsewhere.

  • Ryan Ducken

    I went to School with Lucas, and I am proud of him for speaking up. I too am a disabled Vet , & an Eagle Scout & WSU grad and its terrific to see Logic prevail.

  • RJ Farmer

    I have lived in Island County for over 25 years and have watched with some humor the antics of the Oak Harbor City Council. There are many issues over that past 10 years or so that make one go hmmmm. I am like many that chuckle at these sort of antics, the gun issue and the issue of hats being worn in the council chambers. Is Mr. Almberg above the law and constitution? I think not. While Mr. Almberg has the right to have his individual thoughts and beliefs on matters, he does not have the right or power to limit the rights of others. If he feels adamant enough concerning the weapon issue to walk out of a scheduled Oak Harbor City Council meeting then he should keep walking, surrender his position as a so called leader in the city thereby opening a position for an individual that is willing to support the constitution agreeably and not act childish because he/she did not get their way.

  • mary poppins

    Is there any way to cut short this arrogant, pompous councilman's term…People like this man do more harm than good, should realize he cannot and will never be able to infringe on the rights of others, which he is clearly doing and has done in the past. The man should review the oath he took when he was sworn in to become a council member and think seriously about resigning since he does not understand nor accept his counciman's position. The people of Oak Harbor made a big mistake when they elected him…hopefully they will not repeat it.

  • SilenceDogood2010

    Councilman Almberg MUST be charged w/ FELONY Perjury for his actions. The charge of perjury is NOT, as most folks think, ONLY about lying under oath, the definition is also:

    "2. The breach of an oath or promise."
    (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/perjury)

    Thank you Mayor Dudley for your actions and words.

    Respectfully submitted by SilenceDogood2010 of the Great State of North Carolina, this Twenty Seventh Day of January in the Year of our Lord, Two Thousand Thirteen.

  • AJN

    Mr. Dudley,

    I watched the council meeting where one of the councilman walks out due to a citizen with a CCW. I believe the date was 1/22/13. I would like to say thank you for not only obeying our laws, but also taking the time to explain the oath you took and thanking the veteran! We need more politicians like yourself that understands the Constitution!

  • Ric

    I agree wth Mayor Dudley and as a Washingtoni state citizen move that councilma Rick Almberg be removed from office for violating his oath of office to be impartial ad unbiased and leaving a councl meeting while it was in progress. He did not have a reason to leave the meeting. Mr Almberg is a public servant and thinks the public serves him.

  • Pamela Fick

    I live in Oak Harbor and most of you have no idea what you're talking about. This man stood up and followed through and it kills you doesn't it. Well, he has a lot of backing from logical, sensible people, so bark away.

    • Cliff

      Pamela Fick has no idea what she is talking about. She will do anything to obfuscate the facts in this issue and spin them for her own needs. She is part of the problem and not the cure. She is also the person who made the following statements:

      “That’s the only intention we have to make a point that they don’t belong in there”

      “Fick also confirmed that activists had originally tried to get the council meeting moved to a local school “so they couldn’t bring guns in.” That might also have been designed to discourage attendance from firearms enthusiasts, and if that is the case, then their First Amendment rights are just as much under attack as are their Second Amendment rights.”

      Pam Fick tells fellow citizens that “they don’t belong” and then admits attempting to change the venue of a meeting to ostensibly to stop firearm owners from attending.

      People like Pam Fick will do anything to usurp your rights folks, she is attempting to silence other citizens and discourage them from attending a public meeting, she has no qualms about restricting legal, lawful citizens from defending themselves and excercising their Second Amendment Rights this is what you get from the DEMOCRAT party…

      Pam Fick knows she is telling fibs. Of course none of us know what we are talking about according to her. The truth and facts do not fit into her narrative.

      Go away Pam, you have been exposed for what you are.

    • Bill

      Pamela Fick is most definitely representing the views of the Democrats as she is a Precinct Committee Officer the DEMOCRAT Party.

      I, too, live in Oak Harbor, and the facts of this issue speak for themselves. However, Pam Fick's narrative runs along these lines, as she is ON RECORD as saying such inflammatory things as:

      "I don’t care about your gun rights, what about my right to attend a council meeting and not get shot by some yahoo that thinks he is a superhero.”

  • common sense

    I feel all the bloggers here are missing the point. From what I can tell from Council Member Almberg comments and actions, he's not against the Second Amendment. If I'm not mistaken, guns and ammunition is already regulated to some degree. For example, guns are not permitted in airports, court room, schools, etc.. . The state of Washington's gun policy mirrors that of the Federal Government which means all the local municipalities have to abide by these rules. Now having said that, I think a majority of Americans (many of them gun owners) believe more can be done in regulating guns in public places. I'm not sure if carrying concealed weapons into council chambers is really necessary even though I respect Lucas Yonkman's position. Too much of this debate both nationally and locally is nothing more than a lot of grandstanding and emotional hyperbole. I'm sorry the council member chose a departure from the chamber as a protest statement but we've all made mistakes in the heat of battle. Let's all get back to the table and have a collective discussion on a very important issue that impacts all Americans. When it comes to Gun, we all need cool heads.

  • common sense

    I feel all the bloggers here are missing the point. From what I can tell from Council Member Almberg comments and actions, he's not against the Second Amendment. If I'm not mistaken, guns and ammunition is already regulated to some degree. For example, guns are not permitted in airports, court room, schools, etc.. . The state of Washington's gun policy mirrors that of the Federal Government which means all the local municipalities have to abide by these rules. Now having said that, I think a majority of Americans (many of them gun owners) believe more can be done in regulating guns in public places. I'm not sure if carrying concealed weapons into council chambers is really necessary even though I respect Lucas Yonkman's position. Too much of this debate both nationally and locally is nothing more than a lot of grandstanding and emotional hyperbole. I'm sorry the council member chose a departure from the chamber as a protest statement but we've all made mistakes in the heat of battle. Let's all get back to the table and have a collective discussion on a very important issue that impacts all Americans. When it comes to Gun, we all need cool heads.

  • FakingShock

    Perhaps there ought to be a written test for these elected and appointed officials. In the state of WA, no government can make any laws regarding firearms that are NOT in line with WA state firearm laws. Restricting a licensed CCP holder from carrying in public places or on public property or in public buildings, NOT restricted by the state is in violation of state law.
    If you have no intention of upholding the laws and the constitution do not seek public office.

  • voltage regulators

    You’re so cool! I do not suppose I’ve truly read something like that
    before. So wonderful to find another person with original thoughts on this topic.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that’s needed
    on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

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