charges filed against the McCloskeys

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed charges against a St. Louis couple who defended themselves by brandishing firearms when a protest mob broke into their property.   Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the Central West End couple who confronted protesters June 28 with a rifle and a handgun that can’t fire, have been charged with unlawful use of a weapon/flourishing.

In Missouri, that charge is a class D felony and could result in one to four years in prison as well as fines up to $5,000.  Per St. Louis TV Station KSDK Gardner’s office will be issuing a summons for the couple to appear in court.

But to issue the charges, prosecutors must prove the guns were capable of lethal force–but they weren’t. Last week the McCloskeys former attorney Al Watkins said he turned over the pistol that Patricia McCloskey pointed at the mob because she worried about her personal safety. Watkins noted that the handgun he gave to the police wasn’t really kept for self-protection. It wasn’t a working gun. It was only used as an exhibit in the McCloskeys’ own law practice for a lawsuit against the handgun manufacturer.

During the incident with the mob, Mark McCloskey had the safety of the semi-automatic rifle engaged and did not finger the trigger. Per KSDK, A source familiar with the investigation told them that police did not find any ammunition at the McCloskey’s home, and the rifle was not loaded when they seized it. So neither firearm was capable of lethal force.