Mark and Patricia McCloskey say they were defending themselves against violent demonstrators
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said Monday she’s charging the couple who flashed guns at a crowd marching to the mayor’s home last month, further igniting the gun-rights debate.
Gardner, the city’s top prosecutor, said Mark and Patricia McCloskey will be charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon following the June 28 incident.
“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner — that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis,” Gardner said in a statement. She added that she was recommending a diversion program as an alternative to jail.
The McCloskeys have said many times they were defending themselves, with tensions high in St. Louis and other cities over race and law enforcement. They said that the crowd of demonstrators broke an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs, and that some violently threatened them.
In a statement to Fox News, the couple’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, called the charges “disheartening.”
“I, along with my clients, support the First Amendment right of every citizen to have their voice and opinion heard.,” Schwartz 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.”