Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon, in a move to win favor in Congress for emergency aid for the District, said yesterday she will ask the D.C. Council to repeal a bill passed last month that makes assault-weapon merchants liable for shooting injuries or deaths in the city.

Dixon's decision, relayed by a top aide, came amid further signs of congressional opposition to the gun-liability measure, and it followed a signal from D.C. Council Chairman John A. Wilson (D) yesterday that a council majority is prepared to overturn the measure.

Dixon met yesterday with Rep. Thomas Bliley (R-Va.), the ranking minority member of the House District of Columbia Committee, in part to discuss the gun-liability bill's impact on her request for an additional $100 million in federal aid.

Bills passed by the council and signed by the mayor are subject to congressional review. Bliley has introduced a resolution opposing the law.

After her meeting with Bliley, Dixon warned that congressional displeasure with the gun bill could harm the city's chances of receiving emergency aid to reduce its budget deficit.

"I think we'd all prefer for {Bliley's} resolution not to take on a life of its own," Dixon said, adding that the D.C. Council "knows the resolution is looming."

Wilson said later that he believes a majority of the council's members are prepared to sacrifice all or parts of the gun-liability bill if it improves the chances of getting $100 million in federal assistance.

"If the mayor asks for a repeal of the legislation, I think a majority of the council is amenable to it if it's going to help solve our budget problem," Wilson said. "I've had some conversations on Capitol Hill, and that's led me to believe they could be a lot more helpful with money if we made some accommodations."

Told of Wilson's remarks, Paul Costello, a spokesman for the mayor, said: "If that's a directive to move on a repeal, that's what she intends to do. She will take whatever steps are necessary to resolve this matter."

Council members had anticipated strong objections to the bill from Congress even before approving it in December. The measure, which Mayor Marion Barry signed just before leaving office, is the first of its kind in the country and has been praised by gun-control advocates.

It allows any District shooting victim, or his or her family, to file damage claims against gun manufacturers or dealers. A council majority, led by then-Chairman David A. Clarke, said it hoped the bill would reduce the District's homicide rate by deterring the sale of a variety of assault weapons.

In his resolution, Bliley said the gun-liability law is unconstitutional and violates the Home Rule Act. While noting the severity of violence in the city, he said Congress should intervene because District officials cannot have jurisdiction over gun merchants in other states.

"There is no question that the District's level of violence is devastating," Bliley wrote. "But violating the commerce clause of the Constitution, threatening legal, private enterprises, and violating the Home Rule Act are not the solution to controlling the violence."

Bliley told reporters that he was encouraged that efforts had begun to reach a compromise on the gun-liability issue.

"There is a problem, and I think they're working on it," he said. "We don't need to get Congress and the city in another confrontation."

The National Rifle Association's powerful Capitol Hill lobby had vowed to fight the bill, but gun-control groups have said they wanted the council's action to serve as a model for other cities.

A repeal also would be a serious disappointment for Clarke, who left the council last month. Clarke pushed for the legislation and persuaded seven other members to support it. Later, he called the bill one of his greatest achievements in 16 years on the council.

Clarke, who has joined the faculty of the District of Columbia School of Law, said last night he had written a letter to council members urging them not to rescind the measure, especially since they have no assurance of receiving the $100 million from Congress. "We ought not abandon public safety for what may be an illusory promise of assistance," he said.

Clarke also said he believes the bill could survive congressional scrutiny, noting that the Senate voted last year to ban the same kind of assault weapons the D.C. proposal covers.