Skip to main content

Guarding Your Castle in St. Louis

Guarding Your Castle in St. Louis

A situation in Saint Louis on Sunday in which a couple guarded their home with firearms is quickly becoming the most cussed and discussed event on the internet, with opinions widely divided on the legality. Unfortunately, most involved in the discussion have little interest in finding out what Missouri state law actually says about armed self-defense.

When an unruly crowd broke open a gate into the couple’s private neighborhood, ostensibly to find Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house and call for her resignation, the couple, which owns a St. Louis law firm, reportedly called police to report the intrusion. As yelling trespassers by the dozen streamed through the gate, which was marked with a sign that read “Private Property, No Trespassing,” the couple armed themselves and stood in front of their home.

While some consider that to be taunting the “protesters,” it’s important to understand what had happened in St. Louis not far from the home just a day earlier. At a protest aimed at tearing down a 100-year-old statue of King Louis IX of France on Saturday, protesters turned violent and reportedly attacked a man who was with a group of Catholics who had gathered at the statue to pray for peace.

As one of the groups told CBN News, “We allowed them to spit on us, call us names, put their finger in our faces, push us and antagonize us. But we did not retaliate. We continued to pray peacefully.” The protest officially became a riot when a couple of the protesters reportedly began punching and beating an elderly white man who was with the group praying.


Fast-forward to the very next day when the couple didn’t know how violent the crowd might be that was trespassing in their neighborhood. While anti-gunners and those bent on anarchy cried “foul” over the armed self-defense incident, a look at the state’s laws as they pertain to armed self-defense proves that to be incorrect.


First of all, Missouri recognizes the “castle doctrine” and allows residents to use deadly force against intruders based on the notion that a person’s home is his castle and he has the right to defend it. The doctrine assumes that if an invader disrupts the sanctity of your home, he or she intends to do you harm and, consequently, you should be able to protect yourself or others against an attack.

Interestingly, Missouri's law is more extensive than similar laws in many other states because it allows you to use deadly force to attack an intruder to protect any private property that you own, in addition to yourself or another individual. This means that if someone illegally enters your front porch or backyard, you can use deadly force against them without first retreating.

In addition, Missouri has a Stand Your Ground law that has been in effect since 2017. Before that law was passed and implemented, Missouri residents who were facing a safety threat from another party had a duty of retreat if at all possible, and could only use deadly force if retreat was not possible. Under the Stand Your Ground law, If a person is in a place where he or she is permitted to be, whether it is at home or in public, he or she has the right to use deadly force in self-defense or in defense of another innocent party—even if there is an opportunity to safely retreat.

Multiple attempts by Firearmsnews.com to contact the couple via phone and email on Monday were unsuccessful. In fact, the law firm’s website appeared to be taken down following the incident and email addresses related to the business were also disabled. McCloskey did, however, grant an interview to News 4, a local news station, "A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought-iron gates of Portland Place [private-property association], destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear of our lives," he told News 4 on Monday.




While many have voiced the opinion that the couple should face some legal ramifications for the armed self-defense episode, just the opposite appears to be the case. In fact, a police report released Monday afternoon states that at least one unknown suspect has been charged with trespassing and intimidation during the altercation.

The report lists the couple as “victim 1” and “victim 2,” and said that some individuals within the group of protesters were also armed. According to the report, the couple said the large group yelled obscenities and threatened to harm them after the couple told them they were trespassing and told protesters to leave because they were on a private street.

Still, the situation is a developing one, and there’s little doubt some politically minded “public servants” will continue to place First Amendment rights ahead of those protected by the Second Amendment. In fact, late Monday afternoon St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner seemed to do just that, seemingly referring to the incident as an attempt to quell “peaceful protests.”


“I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault,” Gardner said in a statement. “We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.”

As legal and constitutional protests continue to turn into riots and violent attacks around the country, it’s more important than ever for all lawful gun owners to understand the self-defense laws in place in their states. In fact, being aware of self-defense laws is just as important as training for armed self-defense scenarios to ensure you don’t face grave legal consequences afterward.

Don’t believe what some guy said on Facebook or rely on legal advice from your buddy who “knows a lot about guns.” Do some real research and arm yourself with knowledge before such a situation occurs so you’ll be able to protect yourself and your family safely, effectively and—no less important—legally.

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Brownells Model BRN-601 AR-15 Review

Brownells Model BRN-601 AR-15 Review

Firearms News editor Vincent L. DeNiro took the Brownells BRN-601 AR-15 to the range for a test drive.

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Patrick Sweeney of Firearms News shows off the Springfield Edge AR pistol with a folding arm brace.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

This article will walk you through the process of building a Glock pistol from an 80 percent frame.How To Build a Glock From an 80 Percent Frame Gunsmithing

How To Build a Glock From an 80 Percent Frame

Gus Norcross - August 13, 2020

This article will walk you through the process of building a Glock pistol from an 80 percent...

The Wilson Combat-SIG Sauer WCP320 pistol is now legal for IDPA Stock Service Pistol Class Competition and USPSA Production/Carry Optics Classifications.WCP320 Pistol Now Legal for IDPA and USPSA Handguns

WCP320 Pistol Now Legal for IDPA and USPSA

Firearms News Staff - August 14, 2020

The Wilson Combat-SIG Sauer WCP320 pistol is now legal for IDPA Stock Service Pistol Class...

While Germany is the Edenic home of modern sniping, they were always one step behind the Soviets during World War II, despite fielding some excellent sniper rifles.German Sniper Rifles of World War I and II Rifles

German Sniper Rifles of World War I and II

David M. Fortier - August 13, 2020

While Germany is the Edenic home of modern sniping, they were always one step behind the...

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and allow gunmakers to be sued if their lawfully made products are used for criminal purposes.New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals 2nd Amendment

New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals

Mark Chesnut - August 19, 2020

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in...

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

While politicians who change their priorities every other year just to stay in office are an excellent reason why so many gun owners have become cynical about their supposed “life-saving” proposals, the fact that they continue to be reelected doesn't speak highly for voters' memories.Yet Another Reason Gun Owners Are Cynical About Politicians 2nd Amendment

Yet Another Reason Gun Owners Are Cynical About Politicians

Mark Chesnut - January 04, 2021

While politicians who change their priorities every other year just to stay in office are an...

Biden released a statement officially launching his administration's full-scale assault on the right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment.Biden Launches Attack Against the 2nd Amendment and Gun Owners 2nd Amendment

Biden Launches Attack Against the 2nd Amendment and Gun Owners

Mark Chesnut - February 16, 2021

Biden released a statement officially launching his administration's full-scale assault on the...

China is using their totalitarianism to infiltrate, weaken and sabotage U.S. and allied interests at home and abroad.China Ramps Up Tyranny as U.S. Follows Suit 2nd Amendment

China Ramps Up Tyranny as U.S. Follows Suit

David Codrea - December 23, 2020

China is using their totalitarianism to infiltrate, weaken and sabotage U.S. and allied...

Second Amendment Foundation's nationwide television advertising campaign has been so positive that the organization announced it will extend and expand the campaign for another week.Response To SAF's Nationwide 2A Campaign Huge Extended 2nd Week 2nd Amendment

Response To SAF's Nationwide 2A Campaign Huge Extended 2nd Week

Second Amendment Foundation - January 19, 2021

Second Amendment Foundation's nationwide television advertising campaign has been so positive...

See More 2nd Amendment

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now