St. Louis couple McCloskeys charged on gun violation in defending home against protesters

'I unequivocally believe no crime was committed' – McCloskey attorney Joel J. Schwartz

Updated: July 20, 2020 - 5:30pm

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The St. Louis couple under investigation for arming themselves last month as protesters approached their home in a private, gated neighborhood was charged Monday in connection with the incident, their attorney told Just the News. 

"The charges filed today against my clients, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, are disheartening as I unequivocally believe no crime was committed," attorney Joel J. Schwartz said.

Schwartz said the charge against each of his clients is for "flourishing" a firearm.

"I, along with my clients, support the First Amendment right of every citizen to have their voice and opinion heard," he also said. "This right, however, must be balanced with the Second Amendment and Missouri law, which entitle each of us to protect our home and family from potential threats." 

The charge was brought by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who launched an investigation into the June 28 incident involving the McCloskey, which was captured on a viral video. 

In a police report, the McCloskeys argued that they felt threatened and feared that the demonstrators would assault them or destroy their property.

Missouri GOP Gov. Michael Parson said Friday that he would consider pardoning the couple if they were charged and found guilty.

"I think that’s exactly what would happen, Parson, a Republican, said Friday on the "Marc Cox Morning Show" in St. Louis. "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."

Gardner, a Democrat seeking reelection this year, has said: "We will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights." 

President Trump and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley have expressed concerns on how Gardner is handling the matter.

Hawley, who is the former state attorney general, argues that Gardner has abused her office after seizing McCloskey's guns while pursuing a possible indictment of the married couple. 

Gardner released a statement last week after Hawley sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr requesting a civil rights investigation.

"Baseless. Our office will continue to investigate this matter," she wrote. "And will not be bullied by a sitting U.S. senator or anyone else."

Schwartz also told Just the News on Monday: "Given the heightened attention focused on this matter due to the current political environment, I don’t believe it is prudent to comment any further, at this time, or to try this case in the media. I look forward to reviewing the evidence and defending the McCloskeys against these allegations." 

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