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The Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., 5/24/00

Sunday, October 1, 2000

Sandra Suter knew that a shopping trip to her local Wal-Mart store in Spring Hill, Fla., would end with a wait in the checkout line. What she didn't count on was the near life-ending drama that was about to play out in front of her. The5-ft., 3-inch grandmother, on advice from her son, had taken to carrying a .40-cal. handgun in her purse for self-protection. Now she looked on in disbelief as several employees began wrestling with a man and one worker yelled out, "Drop the knife! Drop the knife!" The man, whom authorities later reported was attempting to steal a VCR, lunged at the employees, inflicting cuts with a small blade. That's when Suter rushed into the melee and announced, "I have a concealed weapons permit" and demanded, "Either drop the knife, or I'll shoot you!" After Suter repeated the threat, the knife-wielding man finally surrendered to store security. Later, Suter said she strongly supports Americans' right to bear arms and added that target practice and gun-safety instruction had "brought our family closer together." She said of the confrontation, "I just did what I thought was right."
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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.