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In 1981, this quiet northern Chicago suburb made history by becoming the first municipality in the nation to ban the possession of handguns.

Twenty-seven years later, Morton Grove has repealed its law, bowing to a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that affirmed homeowners' right to keep guns for self-defense.

It's one of several Illinois communities — reluctant to spend money on legal fights — rushing to repeal their gun bans after the court struck down a Washington, D.C., ban, even as cities such as Chicago and San Francisco stand firm.

Mayor Richard Krier acknowledges Morton Grove's place in history, but said that didn't affect the village board's 5-1 decision Monday to amend its ordinance to allow the possession of handguns. The village still bans the sale of guns.

"There hasn't been any pressure" to keep the ban, Krier said, noting that the village's ordinance has been under scrutiny since the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Washington case. He also pointed out that the mostly residential village has never had a big problem with gun crime.

Though Morton Grove's gun ban is five years younger than Washington's, it's considered the first in the country because the village is a municipality, whereas D.C. is a federal district.

Gun rights advocates hailed the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision affirming that individuals have a right to own guns and keep them in their homes for self-defense.


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