A Whidbey News-Times article Oak Harbor takes a stab at gun regulation delineates which five of our elected city council members clearly believe Washington State law is beneath them. Their actions smack of being yet another politically motivated attempt to undermine Mayor Scott Dudley, with the ultimate political goal of replacing him with the former sign-stealing Mayor, Jim Slowik, who was labeled a “political bully” and won a “Schrammie” award for his escapades while in office.
A request to amend obviously illegal existing City Code was brought to the attention of the the City Council by interim Oak Harbor City attorney Grant Weed. Weed is a Mayor Scott Dudley-chosen employee. Mayor Dudley and a majority of the City Council have clashed over personnel changes since Mayor Dudley has taken office.
One section of Oak Harbor City Code which appears to be in clear violation of state law is:
“6.14.070 Firearms and fireworks.
It is unlawful to shoot, fire or explode any firearm, fireworks, firecrackers, torpedo or explosive of any kind or to carry any firearm or to shoot or fire any air gun, bows and arrows, B.B. gun or use any slingshot in any park without the written permission of the council. (Ord. 214 § 8, 1965).”
Back in 2008, the City of Seattle enacted a similar gun ban in city parks. Earlier in 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down that attempted ban in its entirety. The Second Amendment Foundation is one of the entities that sued to have the Seattle ordnance overturned. They are the same entity that alerted the City of Oak Harbor about their City Code needing to be updated, and, based on a cursory look at their website, they apparently have a track record of filing lawsuits regarding such issues. It appears the Oak Harbor City Council is openly inviting a lawsuit upon the City of Oak Harbor by refusing to align Oak Harbor City Code as suggested should have been done by Oak Harbor City Attorney Grant Weed.
Even more troubling, the Oak Harbor City Council cajoled recently appointed (and Mayor Scott Dudley-selected) Oak Harbor Chief of Police Ed Green to specify that Oak Harbor police officers would, “at gunpoint”, approach someone “walking around a park with a rifle, which is legal under state and federal law”.
As explained in a Seattle-PI blog titled Is Washington an open-carry state regarding guns? (information provided by the King County Sheriff’s office):
“Washington is an “open- carry” state. That means a person may openly carry a firearm (pistol, rifle or shotgun) in public without a concealed-pistol license.”
But, in Oak Harbor, as per the Whidbey News-Times’ article, doing so now apparently will result in Oak Harbor police officers drawing their weapons and aiming them at you, regardless of the fact that:
“This (open carry) statute is very fact-specific, but in general, merely walking around in public with the gun properly secured in an exposed holster does not constitute a violation.”
The Oak Harbor City Council’s actions appears to be intentionally designed to create unnecessary conflict and made-up problems for Mayor Scott Dudley, for Oak Harbor City attorney Grant Weed, for Oak Harbor Police Chief Ed Green, and for all citizens who may desire to exercise their Second Amendment rights as legally provided for in WA State law. While the Oak Harbor City Council apparently wants Police Chief Ed Green to enforce Oak Harbor’s illegal City Code, the King County Sheriff’s office clearly understands that:
“State law controls this area of the law and preempts local jurisdictions from passing more restrictive laws on carrying firearms.”
In response to the 2008 City of Seattle’s firearms ban, Bob Warden alerted authorities in advance that he intended to violate the ban at the Southwest Community Center, and the media covered his doing so.
Would an individual or a group of citizens gathered to march in protest of this illegal City Code actually be held “at gunpoint” for exercising their Second Amendment rights or Right to Bear Arms under the Washington State Constitution at Windjammer Park?