Public packs heats at City Council meeting; gun ban is repealed

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oakharborBy Kate Burgess

Q13 FOX News reporter

OAK HARBOR, Wash. — More than 150 people, many wearing guns on their hips or shouldering rifles, showed up at an Oak Harbor City Council meeting Tuesday night to call for the resignation of a councilman opposed to guns in the council chambers and in support of Second Amendment rights.

Councilman Rick Almberg did not resign, but after several members of the public spoke out in favor of gun rights, the City Council voted to repeal a city ordinance banning guns from city parks and marinas.

Almberg received national attention for walking out of a City Council meeting on Jan. 15 when the council voted down his motion to require people with concealed weapons to check their guns at the door before entering the council chambers. He made the motion after a member of the audience admitted he was carrying a concealed weapon.

The video of his comments and his walkout went viral on

At Tuesday night’s session, Almberg did not heed calls to resign. In fact, he seconded the motion to repeal the gun ban at city parks and marinas. The City Council motion was placed into “emergency” status, which meant the gun ban was repealed immediately.

The Second Amendment Foundation had sent a letter threatening to sue the city demanding that officials repeal sections of city code that prohibit firearms from parks and the marina, saying that it contradicts state law and a recent state Supreme Court decision.

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  • GarryK

    It’s time to repeal the out-dated 2nd Amendment so we can enact sane and relevant gun control laws. Gun ownership is NOT a right, it is a privilege just like driving.

    • Anonymous

      The Second Amendment doesn’t need changing, the FBI stats (google FBI homicide by weopon type) show decreases in murder rate despite increases in guns, and also show how ineffective rifle legislation will be (rifles are only 2.55% of firearm homicides). We need to change the way bad guys get access to them. We MUST have mandatory background checks on all sales, including private ones. We MUST also mandate ownership of fixed gun safes – to stop others getting hold of them – burglars, friends, kids etc. Many incidents have been involving non-owners, so registration, background checks etc wouldn’t have stopped them (including Clackamas, Sandy Hook etc) – whereas if the owners had locked them up, the shooters wouldn’t have got hold of them in the first place! We lock up our car, & put knives & medicine out of reach of children – so why not our guns?

    • Sonny Starks

      No, gun ownership is a RIGHT guaranteed by the constitution. Driving, whether horse and buggy or an automobile, is not. All of the guns used in shootings that prompted this debate, were obtained illegally, so what would new, obviously unenforceable laws prove? "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns."

    • Justice

      While wer'e at it why don't we repeal the out dated Emancipation proclomation, the outdated women's right to vote, the outdated l Unions and the outdated Equal Rights amendment. You sir are being ridiculous ! Let's keep the Constitution intact and put you back on the short bus you rode in on !

    • Chuck B.

      You, Sir, are an idiot. You need to study the difference between a RIGHT and a Privilege. You clearly are ignorant of said difference!

    • MetalheadOC

      When are you fools going to wake up and realize that LAWS DON'T STOP CRIMINALS! Laws cannot prevent violence, laws cannot prevent accidents. Laws can only punish after the fact. Criminals, by definition, DON'T OBEY THE LAW! More laws only affect honest, responsible citizens and further erode our rights. More laws is not the solution. More people waking up and taking responsibility for their own lives (and yes that includes personal protection), instead of ceding ever more liberty to governments for the illusion of security, THAT is the solution!

    • Kathy

      Gun ownership IS a right. But, if you don't want a gun, don't own one. And while you're at it, why don't you put one of those "Proudly Gun Free" signs on your lawn. I'm sure it will impress everyone.

  • Ernie

    The Nazi party in Germany used gun control to murder many of my people–would you fools do the same using the same tired rhetoric about preventing violence? Do gun bans in Great Britain and stop violence? Instead they invite totalitarian governments and repressive laws and murder. 20 million in Stalin's Russia, a similar figure in China during the Red Purge 2 million from the Khmer Rouge enslavement of Cambodia. You fools that wish slavery for everyone outside your elitist group, go form your own country somewhere else. You won't enslave free men!

  • Charles Whitman

    Good Grief, gun owners come off as paranoid Rambos. Watch out for the new world order! BOO! All those guns didn't protect Keith Ratliff or Chris Kyle did they?

  • John Havercroft

    The fact is that the MAJORITY of Americans are tired of the lies told by government that, "we will protect you. All you have to do is call 911 and be the best witness you can." Look at the number of people who support the right to carry firearms for self-protection at this small town city council meeting compared to those who believe 911 and government is enough to protect them. The people who believe in the 2nd Amendment, and the right to self-protection are the huge majority in this country. That's just the way it is. The majority should have control….not the minority who simply is willing to stand on their soap box and exercise their first amendment rights at the top of their of lungs.

  • James

    I was at this meeting, their was an old man with a rifle, not plural, just one. The calls for resignation was over a illegal motion that was understood to be illegal at the time it was made.

  • Matt

    Heads up you people there is no state or federal mandate saying that a police force should be hired or paid for. As it is police budgets have been slashed to the bone and we have a quarter of the police needed. On top of that most cops fire their weapons once a year for certification. Unlike those who carry and practice at the range many times a year. Who is better trained?

  • msglaigaie

    I was at the city council meeting that night and I was openly carrying as I always do. The root of all the trouble, almberg, commented that the chambers were a "war zone". This man is out of touch, not only from his constituents, but from reality. Voices were raised in the chamber, strong feelings were expressed. Not one weapon was discharged or even drawn. Peaceful People exercising the First Amendment and the Second. I have been in "war zones". His use of the term serves only to inflame fear, the only tool he has. The people had another tool, the Law. They say firearms are legal now in Oak Harbor. People they always were. Oak Harbors statute saying they were not was illegal. That was the problem.