Crowd packs heat; Oak Harbor backs down – Local –

It’s been three weeks since an Oak Harbor city councilmember started a national controversy by trying to kick out a wounded Army veteran who was legally carrying a weapon during a council meeting.

Councilmember Rick Almberg then walked out.

The council was met by 160 people Tuesday night, many who were packing heat.

There were handguns in holsters and rifles slung over shoulders and an unknown number of people concealing their weapons as the Oak Harbor City Council met. Many attended the meeting to show support for veteran Lucas Yonkman who Councilmember Almberg tried to have kicked out of City Hall last month, including Joe Hawkins who openly mocked him. “Mr. Almberg I just want you to know that I have a concealed ham sandwich right here I don’t want you to get up and walk away,” he chuckled.

Most attended the meeting to oppose the city’s ban on guns in parks and the marina. The Second Amendment Foundation had threatened to sue if the ordinance wasn’t overturned.

Sandy Peterson spoke out against the ordinance. “If the city council members are intimidated by people exercising their Second Amendment rights to bear arms, perhaps they need to examine what it is about that that makes them uncomfortable,” she said.

William Frail had an M-1 rifle on his shoulder as he testified. “Sir, my mother was Jew,” he said. “My family went to the chambers. I will not go into the night quietly while these two ask me to board the train.”

via Crowd packs heat; Oak Harbor backs down – Local –

I should note, the issue with the city banning the possession of firearms in public parks should never have been raised by the City Council, because state law in Washington preempts local laws, and does not allow cities to enact such bans. Oak Harbor almost certainly would have, and Seattle almost certainly will, face costly court challenges to their laws, and lose.

5 thoughts on “Crowd packs heat; Oak Harbor backs down – Local –”

  1. The City of Seattle lost that court case in 2010 and their apeal in 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court having decided Constitution of Washington and the 2A preempted municipal laws. My favorite quote from the 2010 decision- “The Constitution is the rule of all courts — both state and federal judiciaries wield power to strike down unconstitutional government acts.”
    RCW spells out fairly clearly what places are prohibited. Oak Harbor was nuts to try and prohibit parks and the marina, and if their lawyer told them they could, they need to find new counsel.

    1. Acting City Attorney Grant Weed, seen in the video you tipped me to earlier, was quite clear that the city didn’t have the authority to override RCW. I don’t know if he was counsel when the ban on parks/marina was passed, but he certainly seems to understand the law, and give clear guidance to the council what it can and cannot do.

  2. Agreed. I haven’t seen if that ordinance was something passed recently or some time ago and not addressed sooner. Maybe it was passed when Loenardi was Harbor Master. Lots of people would have liked to shoot him, LOL!

    1. I haven’t found out when exactly they enacted the gun ban in parks and the marina, but they were threatened with a lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation last October. The ordinance came up for discussion more than once since then, only to be tabled. Almberg agitated for keeping it on the books despite knowing it was illegal, because he felt the state preemption law was ridiculous.
      Interesting little side note, the anti-gunners attempted to have the council meeting moved to a school, so they could “legally” disarm the public.

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