The City Council has delayed voting on a ban on sales of semiautomatic assault rifles in the city until the city attorney's office and the police chief have studied the proposed law. The ordinance would be similar to laws passed in cities nationwide in response to an ambush on a Stockton schoolyard last month that left five children dead from bullets fired from a semiautomatic AK-47 assault rifle.
Although three of the five council members said they favored a ban, Mayor Robert Tanenbaum and Councilman Maxwell Salter said the council should study the issue and wait until the state Legislature votes on a proposed statewide ban on sales and possession of the weapons.
"I'd like us to take a step back and not get into the sexy side of this issue as all the other politicians (in other communities) have," Tanenbaum said.
Council members Vicki Reynolds, Bernard Hecht and Allan Alexander said the fact that the issue has become politically fashionable should not stop the council from taking a strong stand against the rifles.