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The St. Louis couple plead guilty to the offense



The McCloskeys, both attorneys in their 60s, wore blue blazers and quietly answered questions from Judge David Mason during Thursday’s hearing. Mason asked Mark McCloskey if he recognized that his actions put people at risk of injury. He replied, “I have done your honor.”

Mark McCloskey, who announced in May that he would run for a seat in the US Senate in Missouri, did not apologize after the hearing.

“I would do it again,” he said from the steps of the courthouse in downtown St. Louis. “Whenever the mob comes up to me, I will do everything I can to put them in imminent danger of bodily harm because that has kept them from destroying my home and family.”

McCloskeys defense attorney Joel Schwartz said after the hearing the couple had hoped to raise money for charity by donating Mark’s rifle, but admitted it was an unusual request.

Since the charges are offenses, the McCloskeys have no option of losing their licenses and can continue to own firearms.

On the steps of the courthouse after the hearing, Special Prosecutor Richard Callahan said the plea for a misdemeanor was appropriate as the McCloskeys called the police, no shots were fired and no one was injured.

“But I think their behavior ended up being a little unreasonable,” he said. “I don’t think people should view this case as some kind of betrayal or attack on the second amendment. We still have the second amendment rights. It’s just that the Second Amendment doesn’t allow for inappropriate behavior. “

The June 28, 2020 protests came weeks after the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Mark McCloskey showed up with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey waved a semi-automatic pistol, according to the prosecution. Cell phone video captured the confrontation. No shots were fired and no one was injured.

The McCloskeys were charged by a grand jury in October with the illegal use of weapons and the manipulation of evidence. Callahan later amended the charges to give the jury the option of negligent harassment conviction instead of gun charge. With this alternative, the evidence manipulation count would be dropped.

An investigation by the St. Louis District Attorney Kim Gardner led to the first indictments – and a tough backlash from several Republican leaders. Then-President Donald Trump defended the couple, whose newfound celebrity earned them a video appearance at the Republican National Convention.

Republican governor of Missouri Mike Parson said if the McCloskeys were convicted, he would pardon them. A Parson spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the hearing.

Callahan, a longtime judge and former U.S. attorney, was named special attorney after a judge ruled in December that Gardner made the appearance of inappropriateness by referring to the McCloskey case in fundraising emails ahead of the August Democratic primary mentioned. Gardner won re-election.

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