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McCloskey couple forfeits guns in guilty pleas to misdemeanor charges

Armed homeowners Mark T. and Patricia N. McCloskey. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)
June 17, 2021

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the viral Missouri couple who stood with firearms outside their home after demonstrators ventured onto their property last year, plead on Thursday to misdemeanor charges and agreed to forfeit their firearms over the incident.

Fox 4 reported Mark McCloskey, plead guilty to a Class C misdemeanor or 4th degree assault and faces a $750 fine and no jail time. Patricia McCloskey plead guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of second-degree harassment and was fined $2,000 and will also not face any jail time.

The charges follow a June 28, 2020 incident in which the Mark McCloskey brought an AR-15-style rifle outside his home and Patricia McCloskey brought a handgun and warned off demonstrators who had entered onto a private street during ongoing nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd the month prior.

The McCloskeys said they felt threatened when protesters broke through the gate to their private street and approached their private residence. The couple said protesters shouted threats at them and some were armed, so they grabbed their own firearms and ordered the protesters to leave.

Though the couple said they felt threatened, prosecutors initially brought charges against them for brandishing the firearms and tampering with evidence. The couple previously pled not guilty to the evidence tampering charges.

Richard Callahan, a veteran judge and former U.S. attorney, was also appointed special prosecutor in December after Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner used the McCloskey’s case in her political fundraising emails, creating an apperance of impropriety.

The Associated Press reported that because the charges were revised down to misdemeanors the McCloskey’s can retain their law licenses and can still legally own firearms.

Callahan said he felt the misdemeanor plea was reasonable as the McCloskeys called the police, no shots were fired and no one was hurt, though he felt “their conduct was a little unreasonable in the end.”

“I don’t think people should view this case as some type of betrayal or assault on the Second Amendment,” Callahan said. “We still have the Second Amendment rights. It’s just that the Second Amendment does not permit unreasonable conduct.”

Following the plea agreement, Marck McCloskey tweeted, “A year ago, the mob came to my door to attack my family— I backed them down The mob came for me, the media attacked me & prosecutors tried to punish me for defending my family They dropped all charges, except for a claim I instilled “imminent fear” in the mob I’d do it again.

In July, Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signaled he would also be willing to pardon the couple. It remains to be seen whether Parson will now intervene in the couple’s case.

Last week, Parson signaled his support for Missouri legislation to declare federal gun control efforts unconstitutional.

The plea agreement also comes a month after Mark McCloskey announced his campaign for Missouri’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2022.