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The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pa., 2/2/00

Saturday, April 1, 2000

Accountant Merlann Bechtel's heart sank as she watched a robbery unfold on video surveillance in the back of the jewelry store where she worked. Three men one wearing a ski mask and armed with a gun entered the business in Lower Paxton Township, Pa., announced a robbery and began strong-arming employees and smashing display cases. Bechtel's valiant attempt to help her co-workers drew a hail of fire from the gunman, said police, but she ultimately got the drop on the crook after meeting him face to face. Firing twice from her own gun, she shot the man in the abdomen, ending the horrific ordeal. Fleeing suspects dropped off their partner at an area hospital and were later arrested along an Interstate. "We are allowed to defend ourselves against others when deadly force is used or threatened," said Harrisburg attorney Alan Michael Ross.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.