Despite politicians from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to President Donald Trump voicing support for the couple who recently held firearms in their front yard to turn away a large group of protesters, prosecutors in St. Louis have charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey with felony unlawful use of a weapon.
The charges make little sense, given Missouri’s strong Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws. However, overzealous, anti-gun St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, who in 2016 received campaign contributions from a George Soros PAC, has been targeting the McCloskey’s since the incident occurred, even while letting violent rioters throughout the city remain free.
Soon after news of the charges became public, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt began working to rectify the situation. Schmitt quickly filed a brief seeking to dismiss Gardner’s charges against the McCloskeys on the grounds that their Second Amendment rights are being violated.
“The right to keep and bear arms is given the highest level of protection in our constitution and our laws, including the Castle Doctrine, which provides broad rights to Missourians who are protecting their property and lives from those who wish to do them harm,” Schmitt said in a prepared statement. “Despite this, Circuit Attorney Gardner filed suit against the McCloskeys, who, according to published reports, were defending their property and safety. As Missouri’s Chief law enforcement officer, I won’t stand by while Missouri law is being ignored.”
Interestingly, the announcement of the charges late Monday came after Gov. Parson had just said over the weekend that he would likely pardon the McCloskeys if the unjust charges against them went forward.
“I think that’s exactly what would happen,” Parson said when asked on a local radio program whether he would grant a pardon. “Right now, that’s what I feel. You don’t know until you hear all the facts. But right now, if this is all about going after them for doing a lawful act, then yeah, if that scenario ever happened, I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail."
Incidentally, Parson had already voiced support for the McCloskeys’ plight, even mentioning that he had spoken to President Donald Trump and that Trump, too, voiced support for the couple.
“I just got off the phone with the President of the United States before I walked out here today,” Parsons said last week before a COVID-19 update. “He understands the situation in Missouri. He understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is for a prosecutor to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens. (In) the conversation I had with the president, (he) said that he would do everything he could within his powers to help us with this situation.”
Of course, if the McCloskeys were to be convicted of the felony charges, they’d lose their right to own a firearm. Hopefully, the law will prevail and the right to keep and bear arms will be shown to still be recognized in the Show Me State.
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.