Oak Harbor City Council CCW Showdown

Skip to 2:00 for the confrontation between a concealed carry weapons permit holder and Oak Harbor City (WA) Councilman Rick Almberg. Then go to 6:00 for Mayor Scott Dudley‘s defense of the citizen’s Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Stirring stuff.


About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

65 Responses to Oak Harbor City Council CCW Showdown

  1. avatarPascal says:

    Thank you Mayor Scott Dudley. I Thank you for doing your job and uphold the constitution and laws of your state!

    • avatarpat says:

      Good for the Mayor (and odvious Baldwin brother….though slightly overweight, like most of them), and bad for the commie councilman who walked out like a little girl frightened at cool and manly things.

  2. avatarOkieRim says:

    Lived there for several years while in the military, great little town, very patriotic. But, it appears that a few liberals didn’t get the memo….

  3. avatarST says:

    Did Rick Almberg soil himself, triggering his sudden departure from the room?

    • +1 I’m sure he keeps extra underwear in his office just for such occasions.

    • avatarSeanC says:


      That guy really had to make a show of it, didn’t he! No constitution or sworn oath could disway him from his girly showmanship. Kudos to the brave soldier/citizen who once again stood up for his country and himself and for the mayor to officially, pointedly, recognize all of the above.

  4. avatarAlan says:

    Thank You Mayor Dudley for having the guts to remind elected officials of their oath to protect the Constitution.

  5. avatarAndy Sockwell says:

    The way it ought to be!

  6. avatarTyler says:

    I would have never guessed that Mr. Clean could be such a douche bag.

  7. avatarNathan says:

    Hopefully councilman Almberg discovers Washingtonians are not very forgetful come next election. He needs to find a new job.

  8. avatarstx102 says:

    Just want to remind everybody – this is a perfect example of how this fight will be won in the long-term at the local level.

    We worry about folks like Feinstein and Holder, and rightly so, but the real power is in your local community and states, where we can change perception and ignorance one small group at a time. This video is a perfect example of that.

    • avatarPhydeaux says:


    • avatarLarry says:

      Well said

    • avatarCG-23 Sailor says:


      That could not have been said more perfectly. All the posturing on the large stage by the bigwigs will sway nobody. People are already Pro/Anti 2A.
      All the bigwigs do is reinforce already held opinions.

      The swaying and educating is done in smaller groups, which spread and educate other smaller groups. When this is done, it won’t matter what laws the likes of Obama and Feinstein pass. No one will enforce the laws. A law without enforcement, is no law at all.

  9. avatarNathaniel says:

    Anyone notice that two of the four “no” votes were from women?

    Guess they won’t be in any Million Mom March.

  10. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    For the proper response to the di.khead councilman please see Jim Carrey as Arnold Swarzenegger(on the tube), opinion noted, Randy

  11. avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

    Interesting. I have a buddy in Bellevue who says they love their guns up in WA – conservatives and liberals alike. Well, I guess not all of them but….

    Incidentally, I also understand that at ranges in his area he cannot use magazines. He has to chamber one round at a time – semis as well.

    • avatarNathan says:

      Must be only up there. When I lived in Puyallup, all the ranges in the area let you load them up and send them downrange.

    • avatarJack says:

      Cannot use magazines? My range is in Bellevue, and there is no such silly rule.

    • avatarSwarf says:

      The only range I know of with that rule is the rifle area at Renton Fish and Game. The range is essentially smack in the middle a residential area, so they’re pretty touchy about making sure a round doesn’t escape.

      It’s where I’m a member, though I’m usually on the pistol range.

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      That’s pretty much true. Seattle liberals are generally speaking the holdouts, but there’s a decent slice of them who like guns as well.

      The main threat to gun rights to gun rights in Washington comes from Seattle-area Democrats. Cross the water east or west or drive more than an hour or so north or south and Washington makes Texas look like New York.

    • avatarg says:

      Huh? Weird, never have heard of that.

      Wade’s is a pretty popular range and they definitely don’t have that rule.

      I shoot nowadays in Federal Way, and it’s an indoor range that also allows rifles… good for me.

  12. avatarmatt anthony says:

    Thank you mayor dudley!

  13. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Don’t skip to the marks. Watch the whole thing. It’s 9 minutes out of your life; it won’t kill you.

    I am curious about the cut-break before the Mayor spoke. When the permit holder sat down, there were approximately 25 chairs, most of which were occupied. When the camera cut to the permit holder in the middle of the Mayor speaking, there were only 10 chairs and 5 people visible. While people may have left during the meeting, it seems odd that they would have removed 2/3 of the chairs before the meeting was over.

    City council meetings are on the list of “prohibited places” for me here in FL. (Fl. Stat. 790.06 (12) (a) A license issued under this section does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into: 7. Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district; It’s nice to see that Oak Harbor (and since the City Attorney mentioned state preemption, I guess all of Washington) remembers what “shall not be infringed” means.

    • avatarCG-23 Sailor says:

      Citizen communication(the beginning of the tape with the CHL holder made his remarks is at the beginning of councilmeetings.

      The Mayors remarks were made right before the motion to adjourn, meaning his remarks came at the very end after the council meeting was over. The Mayors remarks did not come right after the earlier remarks. What was cut then, was the body of the meeting itself which was likely of no concern for the Pro-2A crowd. Would you have rather sat through the whole 45 minutes to 2 hours or more of the entire meeting? Most people who attend councilmeetings are there because of an interest in a specific topic. once that topic is addressed, few stick around for the remainder of the meeting. As such, the audience is pretty bare bones by the end.

      So there is nothing mysterious about the missing people. It’s just that the majority of the meeting which had nothing to do with the conceal carry was cut out. and that the two relevant parts were at the beginning and the end of the meeting.

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        What you say about timing and attendance makes perfect sense. I was more questioning the “fewer chairs” than the “fewer people.” I would have thought nothing of seeing 5 people in ~25 chairs. Just seems odd that they would collect up and put away the empty chairs during the course of the meeting instead of waiting ’til the end.

        • avatarCG-23 Sailor says:

          There is that. It could be (just guessing here though) is that there could be any number of potential explanations, Council could have retired to executive session for a portion of the meeting skipped and most of your audience would have left at that time, and many of the chairs collected then during the break. The meeting could have been long and staff were quietly removing some of the chairs early so as not to be stuck cleaning up late, or any other number of factors.

          But yeah… it did kinda stand out as an anomaly.

    • avatarJohn says:

      Here is a link to the full video from the meeting. You can see the extended conversation and what leads up to the councilman leaving. The mayor’s comments were presented at the end of the meeting, hence the edit.


    • CG-23 Sailor below is correct:
      “The Mayors remarks were made right before the motion to adjourn, meaning his remarks came at the very end after the council meeting was over. The Mayors remarks did not come right after the earlier remarks. ”

      The original video had approx. 1 1/2 hours edited out for brevity. You are seeing only Mr. Yonkmans comments to the Council, Councilman Almberg’s motion, the vote and the Mayors comments. There was a whole bunch of irrelavent video cut out of the original recording. The original, complete recording can be found here: http://www.oakharbor.org/video-view.cfm?keyword=01-15-13

  14. avatarKnoxville says:

    Bravo, Mayor Dudley! Its often said that you can tell how a politician views their constituents and the whole idea of freedom by how they vote/act on gun issues. These folks have just shown the people of Oak Harbor where there feelings lie.

    • avatarKnoxville says:

      Here’s a link to a local news story about the incident: http://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/news/187531841.html

      Note this comment by one of the female council members: “I must admit I am very uncomfortable, and especially if we have a room of 20 people who decided to show their Second Amendment rights I would probably ask to adjourn the meeting.”

      Let’s see how that looks with a little editing: “I must admit I am very uncomfortable, and especially if we have a room of 20 people who decided to show their First Amendment rights I would probably ask to adjourn the meeting.” I’m sure any of these council members would at least say they would find that repugnant. As the mayor said, they swore to support the WHOLE Constitution, not just the parts they like.

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        Thanks for the link. That is interesting. The vote on the councilman’s motion was 4-2 against, but that article reveals that none of the opposing votes appeared to be based on their position on the 2A.

        Councilwoman Tara Hizon said the same logic that applies to the law banning guns from courtrooms should apply to council chambers. But she said the motion was made in “a haphazard way” and that it should be analyzed by staff before coming to a vote. Councilman Bob Severns also said he was uncomfortable with guns in the chambers, but he agreed with Hizon that the issue needs more thought.

        Councilwoman Beth Munns said she also feels it isn’t appropriate for citizens to be armed in the council chambers.

        Councilman Jim Campbell, however, said he was against the motion because it was made during public comment period, which violates council protocol.

        So the net result is that of the four council members who voted against Almberg’s motion, zero of them voted against it based on a 2A position. One voted against it strictly on procedural grounds (like me voting against a Florida Constitutional Amendment giving additional homestead exemptions to veterans — I probably agree with your point, but it has no business in the Constitution). One voted against because it was “haphazard and required more thought” (potentially the thought that would discover that state preemption says you can’t do that). The other two didn’t state their specific reasons, but both clearly stated their discomfort with citizens attending the meetings being armed.

        The only true “good guy” in this scenario (other than the permit holder) is the Mayor himself.

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        Politicians facing an armed audience of citizens is EXACTLY what our Founding Fathers intended!!!

        The right of a citizen to be heard is far too easily trampled by a loud mouth or a gavel in a community meeting. Without even the remotest hint of violence, this was the perfect example of an elitist dirtbag showing himself the door thus removing his impartiality from the proceedings.

  15. avatarJohnny says:

    Political Suicide 101.

    The guy probably left because he had to go home and cry because the disabled vet with the scary assault gun was making him sad on the inside.

  16. avatarRon says:

    Clicked to see Mayor Dudley’s defense, pleasantly surprised to see majority support.
    The way it should be.
    Hopefully the way it will be.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      Well per a previously linked news article interviewing council members after the fact, it appears that at least two female council members want to look into having the law changed regarding that, but at least voted against it as it would be illegal.

  17. avatarrosignol says:

    For those unfamiliar with the area, Oak Harbor is on Whidbey Island, which is generally regarded as “an eclectic mix of hippies and rednecks”.

    • avatarJoe says:

      Just a bit of clarification, the south end of the island is where you will find most of the “tree hugging hippies”, the north end where Oak Harbor is contains more “rednecks”.

  18. avatarMontesa_VR says:

    As long as there are people who which such extreme fear of firearms that they can’t even bear to sit in a room with one, it is ridiculous to think they don’t want to take away your guns. They want to and they will, unless you stop them. This fight will never end. I’m happy we haven’t sunk to the level of Canada or Australia. Yet.

  19. EXCELLENT A mayor with guts. I hope this guy with the gun shows up at EVERY meeting. I know I would if I were him

  20. avatarCarl says:

    I congratulated The Mayor of Oak Harbor with a letter

    Mr. Mayor,

    I heartily applaud your comments regarding the motion to ban firearms from the oak Harbor Council Chambers.

    As a former Councilmember for the City of Pasco I have made similar speeches myself. I would also add that I, and more than one of my fellow Pasco Councilmembers, have freely exercised our own Second Amendment Rights as we did our civic duty behind the council bench.

    Again, kudos to you and the other members of the Oak Harbor City Council that upheld the oath of office and voted to defeat the motion of Councilman Almberg.

    Mr. Almberg’s cowardly retreat from the Council Chambers is a disgrace to those that elected him to serve as their representative.

    Carl Strode
    Cheney, WA

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      I sent him a thank you letter as well. i don’t know if he cares that an old fart in PA supports him, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.

  21. avatarSCS says:

    Got to love an elected official with a set of stones to stand up for the oath they took.

  22. avatarHiPlanesDrifter says:

    Apparently, Councilman Almberg thinks he’s a cop who can seek consent to search a citizen anytime he wishes, without probable cause and without a warrant. Got some bad news for ya, Councilman Almberg: you ain’t. The proper response would have been for the citizen to say ‘Whether I’m armed pursuant to my 2nd Amendment right to do so is none of your business. I am not breaking any laws and you have no right to ask me such a question, nor do I have any obligation to answer.’

    The armed citizen’s suggestion that gun safety be taught in schools may have given Councilman Almberg a coronary.

    The City Attorney’s response to the question of the legality of the motion (“likely not a lawful directive”) could have been more forceful. Those are weasel words. He should have said ‘It would have been illegal, contrary to the Constitution and it could have been appealed, which likely would have cost us thousands in legal fees to defend.’

    The Mayor himself, although he did a fair job in the situation, could have been more forceful as well, (a lot of ‘uhs’ and a reference to the armed citizen as the ‘likes of you’) but I’ll take what I can get. And apologizing for a possible action? What is that about? ‘I’m sorry, sir, for what could have happened.’ An apology for Councilman Almberg’s ignorance of the law, and apparently his oath of office, would have been more appropriate, IMHO.

    And finally, and most importantly, Mayor Dudley’s reading of the oath of office they took was nice, particularly the part about supporting the Constitution and laws ‘faithfully and impartially’. Apparently, Councilman Almberg only wants to support the part(s) he likes and doesn’t support the part(s) he doesn’t like. IMPARTIALLY, Councilman Almberg, means that you will uphold the law of the land whether you like it or not – your personal views are irrelevant. If you don’t like the law, that’s fine, but you still have an obligation to uphold it. You are free to pursue a change to any law you don’t like, but for the present, sir, we still have a right to bear arms and that means on our person(s) if necessary.

    For those unfamiliar with the area, Oak Harbor is on Whidbey Island, which is generally regarded as “an eclectic mix of hippies and rednecks”.
    That should make for some interesting interaction, such as we saw on the video.

  23. avatarDirk Diggler says:

    am I the only one who noticed that asshat councilman has this gem in his bio?

    “Favorite Books: “Guns, Germs & Steel” and “Collapse” by Jared Diamond.”

    • avatarRay says:

      and that he doesn’t bother to spell the name properly when giving attribution to his favorite (mis)quote. It appears he does want his opinion to be fact tho.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      Guns, Germs & Steel

      That reminds me, I think I picked up that book several years ago and it got stuck in a box in the basement…..I need to go spelunking and see what other books I’ve forgotten to read.

  24. This guy is awesome! We need more like him in office.

  25. avatarDirk Diggler says:

    I sent him the following email, but $20 says either he responds with a temper tantrum or is outright dismissive:

    Dear Councilman Almberg,

    I am a law abiding citizen. I am a parent. I am a taxpayer. I am faithful churchgoer and trustee of my institution of faith. I am a gun owner. I am an African-American, a 4th generation attorney, and as a proud descendant of Freedom Riders and volunteer attorneys in the segregationist South, I don’t know how to summarize this politely, but, you are a coward.

    Put aside the comments about remembering your oath of office that Mayor Dudley directed towards you after you stormed out of the council meeting on January 2, 2013, like a petulant child, although I agree with him on his point. No, the issue is you are so focused on your hatred of a weapon possessed by a lawful gun owner (and veteran no less) that you are too blind to the simple fact that CRIMINALS DON’T CARE ABOUT SILLY LAWS OR RULES! Despite what is set forth in Washington law, short of an armed guard and a metal detector at the council entrance, a criminal will do what they want to do, and where and when they want to do it. Only a law abiding citizen will not carry a weapon where he or she is not permitted. It happened at a city council meeting in 2009 in Kirkwood, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis where I now live. http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-3805672.html. There were two officers nearby who were shot and killed, and thus unable to stop the attack. If only an armed citizen had been there, perhaps things would have turned out differently. However, you are too cowardly to open your eyes to see that other than the attack on Congresswoman Giffords by a deranged individual at an open air constituent meeting, mass shootings normally occur in gun free zones, including the city council meeting in Kirkwood, Missouri and the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary (for which the police took 20 minutes to respond to). Interestingly, there were no police nearby at the Giffords shooting, but there were several armed citizens who were prepared to take out the shooter had he been successful in reloading and continuing his killing spree.

    I carry a weapon whenever I am not at my job, and this includes my church. My pastor has received death threats, and under your theory, he should accept his fate if someone evil decides to act upon their anger, rather than be defended by someone other than a police officer, which even you have to acknowledge cannot be everywhere. But fortunately, my pastor has placed his personal safety in my hands and the hands of several other citizen gun owners in the congregation. And even more fortunately, others in my church feel the same way. Although they choose not to assume the burden of carrying a weapon, they appreciate that at the same time I make sure to protect the pastor, I am also duty-bound to protect the congregation (including the nursery where my children are). I do not receive compensation for my efforts. I do it because I love my family, my God, and my country. Moreover, despite the painful memory of this country’s founding on the backs of its slaves, I am a professional who remembers and honors the oath to the Constitution that I took. I don’t like everything that is written in it, but I accept it because it the thread that holds this social compact we call a republic together.

    As someone who proclaims on his city biography y his favorite quote is ““We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts.”, you certainly seem to have created your own facts. I take solace that the Mayor and Police Chief both recognize your cowardice and your arrogance to think you are above the law. You also should know your childish cowardice is now on display outside of Washington and people all over the world are laughing. At you. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/01/robert-farago/oak-harbor-city-council-ccw-showdown/#comment-665503.

    And I join them.

    • avatarCG-23 Sailor says:

      Excellent letter.
      I too wrote him a letter. Being a former sailor, mine was not as “nicely worded” as yours was.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      Dirk, that was just beautiful in every possible way. I thank you for sending that to him. I thought about writing him, but gave up after 3 drafts where i still couldn’t refrain from calling him a “flame deleted” (I censored myself there).

    • avatarg says:

      Great letter, Dirk.

  26. avatarDave says:

    Councilman Almberg best not visit Arizona anytime soon – we’re seeing more open carry in the last couple of weeks (seeing at least 1 a week, and we dont go out much). My wife and inlaws were remarking about how it seems like more people are proudly displaying their firearms. Ok, they didnt quite say it like that.

    My little girl thinks it’s cool (she’s 9, a great shot and wants to CC when she’s old enough).


  27. avataruncommon_sense says:

    In the full length video, one of the council members tells the entire council that they are out of order. That time at that meeting was for public comments, not motions from members of the council. But that didn’t matter to councilman Almberg. Rules and laws don’t matter when it comes to guns. The only thing that matters is eliminating them by any means available.

  28. avatarmushdogs says:

    Town I grew up in, where I learned to shoot and hunt. Good on Mayor Dudley.

  29. avatarphilthegardner says:

    It seems that the “Whidbey Wind” also includes hot air from the councilman. Stationed there for a few years and agree with the assessment that it is an eclectic mix of hippies and rednecks.

  30. avatarNWGlocker says:

    Here’s a local story about the “discussion” at the council meeting. I nominate Lucas Yonkman for city council member!


  31. avatarWatson says:

    I called this morning was expecting to just leave a message thanking him. To my Surprise he took my call and we chatted for about 5 minutes :D Very personable fellow.

  32. This is great coverage of this Oak Harbor, WA incident. There is also another local article on this incident, and commentary from (mostly) local folks at:

    “Oak Harbor City Councilman Rick Almberg walks out of City Council meeting. He refuses to follow his oath by supporting the laws of the State of Washington and our Washington State Constitution.”


  33. avatarJustLeaveLawfulGunOwnersAlone says:

    send the Mayor a thank you note and CC your local news tip line
    with a link to the above video.

  34. avatarBrennan says:

    Would that have been considered brandishing by revealing to them that he had a gun on him in that circumstance?

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