The chamber was overflowing with residents Tuesday night as the Compton City Council gave the final reading to an ordinance that bans the sale and possession of semiautomatic military-style assault weapons.
Several speakers, many of them block club members and clergymen, rose to praise the council for its unanimous action in banning the weapons, which have been responsible for the deaths of three people in Compton during the last two weeks. The ordinance will take effect in 30 days.
The National Rifle Assn. has said through spokesmen in California and in Washington, D.C., that it will challenge the ordinance in court on the grounds that only the state Legislature can regulate the use of firearms. Councilman Maxcy Filer, who authored the weapons ban, said the city is prepared if necessary to fight its case to the U.S. Supreme Court.