McCloskeys Seek Return of Guns They Wielded at BLM Protesters

McCloskeys Seek Return of Guns They Wielded at BLM Protesters McCloskeys Seek Return of Guns They Wielded at BLM Protesters Armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey, standing in front their house confront protesters marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's house in the Central West End of St. Louis. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)

By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 06 January 2022 08:56 AM

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who faced gun charges after arming themselves against Black Lives Matter protesters near their home in 2020, are trying to get their guns back.

Robert Dierker of the City Counselor's Office said Wednesday in a virtual court hearing that the city had not destroyed the guns despite a court order last year to do so.

"Obviously with our customary efficiency, we should have destroyed (the weapons) months ago," Dierker said, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. "We haven't. So McCloskey's a beneficiary of bureaucratic, I want to say, ineptitude. But in any event, it’s fortuitous that the weapons still exist."

Mark McCloskey, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, has sued St. Louis, the sheriff, and state to retrieve the weapons.

The city maintains the McCloskeys forfeited the guns as part of their plea agreements to misdemeanors for waving the guns at protesters in June 2020 — following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis — outside the couple's mansion on a private and gated street, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Photos and cellphone video captured the confrontation, which drew national attention.

The McCloskeys in June 2021 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and surrendered to police a Colt AR-15 rifle and a Bryco .380-caliber pistol.

Mark McCloskey, 65, said Wednesday that Republican Gov. Mike Parson's July 30 pardons of his and wife’s misdemeanor crimes entitled them to get their guns back. The couple also sought the refund of $872.50 in fines paid in June.

"The loss of that property would certainly be a legal disqualification, impediment or other legal disadvantage, of which I have now been absolved by the governor, and therefore the state no longer has any legitimate reason to hold the property," Mark McCloskey said, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The City Counselor’s Office, which is representing the police and sheriff’s departments, said at Wednesday's hearing that the governor's pardon erased the conviction but did not wipe out the plea bargain in which the McCloskeys forfeited their guns.

"We do not think he can demonstrate the right to immediate possession," Dierker told Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty, the Post-Dispatch said.

The McCloskeys, both lawyers, also face suspension of their law licenses.