At last Tuesdays City Council meeting a citizen commented during the citizens comment period encouraging the City Council to support the Second Amendment and to help educate our children about firearms and firearm safety.
In a rather disturbing display by Councilman Almberg this citizen was called back to the podium by Councilman Almberg and the councilman asked the Mayor to enquire if he was carrying a concealed weapon. After some discussion with the city Attorney about the legality of Councilman Almberg requesting a citizen return to the podium to be asked a question by the Councilman the citizen volunteered to answer any questions Councilman Almberg saw fit to ask him. After the citizens confirmed that he was lawfully and legally carrying a concealed weapon Councilman Almberg made a motion (during the citizens comment period yet) that he wanted to make a requirement that citizens coming to city council meeting check their firearms with either the police department or the Chief of Police before being allowed to attend the meeting. The Motion was seconded by Joel Servatius. After a long discussion the motion was presented for a vote with Councilman Almberg and Councilman Servatius voting yes and the remainder of the Council voted no. Immediately after the motion failed councilman Almberg excused himself and left the meeting.
We have a situation in our City Council where certain Council members feel that the oath of office they take is not meant for them. Councilman Almberg swore an oath when taking his position as a Councilman to support and uphold the laws and Constitution of our State, he has been repeatedly informed in council meetings that the State of Washington has preempted the ability of cities and counties to make laws that are in conflict with our state laws concerning firearms including restricting their carry in any areas that are not outlined in our State laws. City Council chambers are excluded from those laws. Rick Almberg has made it clear that he will refuse to honor those State laws and protections that we have against rogue Councilmen like Almberg making a patchwork of laws concerning firearms.
The proper method for Councilman Almberg to dispute the laws that we have is with the legislators of our state and not the citizens. If he feels the need to change these laws it should be done through a letter or other communication with our state legislators not through putting citizens on the spot during Council meetings and not by making motions for restrictions against firearm owners that are contrary to state law.
I would suggest to Councilman Almberg that now that he has made his point by walking out of a City Council meeting by grandstanding over this issue that he resigns his position as Council Member so that we can replace him with someone that does have an interest in following the oath they swore to uphold.
Citizens are not going to stop carrying concealed weapons into the Council chambers during council meetings until and if the laws of our State are changed. There are very good reasons the State has preempted local communities enacting restrictions that are more restrictive than state laws, this stops having a patchwork of laws that can trap lawful citizens carrying firearms. One of the major considerations for Concealed Weapon Holders is that if they are required to leave their weapons in their cars during meetings cars can be broken into and firearms can be stolen. We only have to look as far as Seattle to see what happens, the Chief of the Seattle Police Department had his service weapon stolen from his vehicle and as far as I know the weapon has never been recovered. No telling how much mayhem that weapon has caused because it was stolen by a criminal. We do not want that happening in our city due to a Council member who is obviously attempting to grandstand and make an issue where one really does not exist. Citizens have been carrying concealed weapons in city council meetings long before Councilman Almberg ever entered city politics and will continue to do so until the laws of our state are changed.
Below is a you tube video that has been edited for brevity and includes the important part of this discussion and shows Councilman Almberg leaving the meeting. Please follow this video to the end, the Mayors comments are in my mind especially important. He goes over the oath of office that all council member swear to follow and apologizes to the citizen who was placed in a position that no citizen should when volunteering comments to the City Council.
I would strongly suggest that Councilman Almberg review his Oath of Office before ever returning to the Council Chambers and that he also review Article 1 and Section 1 of our State Constitution which states:
“SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER. All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.”
Maybe Councilman Almberg can explain as to why he refuses to follow his oath and also why the above article from our Constitution is appropriate.
View complete video of this meeting at the Oak Harbor City Website – CLICK HERE
Citizens Comments- CLICK HERE
Mayors Comments- CLICK HERE
The below video was edited for brevity and shows the issues relevant to this article: