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Windsor council won't back assault weapons ban

Gun-control advocates failed this week to convince the Windsor Town Council to support a federal ban on assault weapons when a majority of council members abstained from voting on the matter.

Windsor so far is the only municipality in Sonoma County to break ranks on the issue. Seven cities have endorsed a ban while Rohnert Park is yet to take up the issue.

Gun control advocates left the Windsor council chamber Wednesday night accusing the abstaining council members of "cowardice" and having "no guts."

"Their constituents have a right to know where they stand on this," Susan Moore, president of the Sonoma County Brady Campaign said Thursday. "This to me is very cowardly."

Two council members favored a resolution endorsing a national ban on the sale of military-style weapons and large-capacity bullet magazines, but without enough votes for council action, it died.

A majority of council members essentially said it's not appropriate to be taking up a national issue that can divert staff time and result in a symbolic gesture.

"This job is for community and local issues — water, sewer, garbage, roads, infrastructure, parks, seniors," said Councilman Bruce Okrepkie," who abstained from voting along with council members Steve Allen and Robin Goble.

Only council members Debora Fudge and Sam Salmon voted in favor of backing the reinstatement of a federal assault weapons ban proposed by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Ca.

The two council members also expressed support for legislation proposed by Congressman Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, to extend background checks to all gun sales, including guns sold at shows and through the Internet.

Fudge, who proposed the council vote on the issue, said "local government can be the voice of the people ... especially when sending messages up to the state and federal government."

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