(WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES) No guns were drawn or even visible, but a councilman’s confrontation with an armed audience member ended dramatically Tuesday night as the elected official left the meeting when his colleagues refused to pass a motion to disarm the man.

The confrontation has amped up gun control debate in Oak Harbor, which mirrors many of the discussions occurring nationwide since the Dec. 14 shooting that left 20 children and six staff members dead at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The question being argued in Oak Harbor is whether people should be able to carry firearms in public places like city parks or council chambers. Councilman Rick Almberg, with support from Councilman Joel Servatius, has taken a stand against allowing guns in such public places. Almberg acknowledges that the council may not have the authority to preempt state law, but he wants to bring attention to the issue.

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