The St. Louis couple who brandished weapons while staring down Black Lives Matter demonstrators have gotten new weapons to replace their confiscated firearms.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who days ago pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges for aiming guns at protesters in June 2020 at the height of the protests after George Floyd's death, have gotten new AR-15-style guns to replace the firearms state authorities will destroy as part of their plea bargains.
"Checking out my new AR!" Mark McCloskey wrote in a tweet Saturday, along with the hashtags "#2A," in reference to the Second Amendment, and "#MOSen," acknowledging his Senate candidacy.
— Mark McCloskey (@mccloskeyusa) June 19, 2021
On Thursday, Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree misdemeanor of assault and was ordered to pay a $750 fine, while Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor of harassment and was directed to pay $2,000. Neither will face jail time, though the couple's firearms will be destroyed by state authorities.
The McCloskeys attracted media attention when on June 29, 2020, they surveyed their lawns as protesters marched past, with Mark McCloskey wielding an AR-15 and Patricia McCloskey carrying a silver handgun. The McCloskeys said the protesters broke into their luxury St. Louis neighborhood and threatened their lives.
"[They said] that they were going to kill us," Patricia McCloskey said in July 2020. "They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house. They were going to be living in our house after I was dead, and they were pointing to different rooms and said, 'That's going to be my bedroom, and that's going to be the living room, and I'm going to be taking a shower in that room.'"
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner charged them with unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering while law enforcement seized the guns used to ward off the crowd. The pair originally pleaded not guilty in October.
In December 2020, Judge Thomas Clark ruled Gardner gave the appearance of initiating a "criminal prosecution for political purposes," following reports that she mentioned the charges against the McCloskeys in fundraising emails for her reelection bid, and the circuit attorney was removed from the case. In January of this year, she lost her second appeal to lead the prosecution effort against the Missouri couple.
Arguing Gardner had ulterior motives in prosecuting them, the McCloskeys demanded their criminal case be "revisited" by a grand jury in April.
"Due to the bias of Kim Gardner’s office, we believe the grand jury process was tainted and should be reviewed and revisited," Joel Schwartz, the attorney for the pair, said at the time.
Richard Callahan, who served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri under former President Barack Obama, was then selected to serve as the special prosecutor in the case.
On May 18, Mark McCloskey announced he was running in next year's midterm elections to fill incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt's soon-to-be-vacated seat.
"I've always been a Republican, but I've never been a politician. ... All we hear is talk, and nothing ever changes. It just seemed to me that people have to stand up," he said in the first interview after announcing his candidacy during a Fox News appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
McCloskey entered a crowded field of contenders vying to replace Blunt. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned the governorship on May 29, 2018, amid a sex scandal, have already entered the race, and several members of Congress, such as Reps. Billy Long and Ann Wagner, have publicly expressed interest.
The seat, which is rated as "solid Republican" by most political analysts, is not expected to be particularly competitive in the general election.
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Original Author: Carly Roman
Original Location: McCloskeys get new guns after firearms confiscation