Gun-toting attorney Mark McCloskey has shown off his new rifle just two days after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges and agreeing to surrender the weapon he pointed unarmed Black Lives Matter protesters.
‘Checking out my new AR,’ reads the caption. McCloskey is seen in the photos wearing a curt smile and brandishing the weapon with a finger just above the trigger. One photo also includes his wife Patricia giving a thumbs up.
The gun-toting St. Louis couple, both personal injury attorneys in their 60s, appeared in court Thursday where they admitted to a judge that their actions had put peaceful protesters at risk of serious injury.
They agreed to give up the weapons used in the incident. On leaving court where Mark told reporters ‘I’d do it again’.
The McCloskeys shot to notoriety last June when they were caught on camera emerging from their home in an upscale neighborhood in Missouri brandishing firearms at protesters marching past.
Mark, who fast became the GOP’s poster boy and spoke at August’s Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump, is now running for US Senate.
Following the plea deal last Thursday, McCloskey shared a series of tweets defending his and his wife’s actions and bragging about the outcome of his court appearance.
‘A year ago, the mob came to my door to attack my family— I backed them down,’ McCloskey shared last Thursday at 4.05pm. ‘The mob came for me, the media attacked me & prosecutors tried to punish me for defending my family. They dropped all charges, except for a claim I instilled “imminent fear” in the mob. I’d do it again.’
Then he wrote, ‘Let me be clear, I am not surrendering any of my other firearms! I will continue to be one of the strongest advocates for #2A in MO and around the country. The two weapons that were seized from me were evidence in a criminal case. Per the state of MO they are to be incinerated.’
And, minutes later, he added, ‘Don’t worry— I have more guns to protect my family where that came from!’
Speaking with Newsmax following the plea deal, McCloskey called it the ‘best of all possible solutions’ and said he ‘had every intention placing third parties in imminent fear of physical injury.’
‘That was the whole point of the guns,’ he said. ‘You stand out there with the guns, you make people worry that they might get shot and they back up.’
The McCloskeys will not face jail time after they agreed to the lesser charges in a plea deal.
Patricia pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000 in Thursday’s hearing in downtown St. Louis.
Mark pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750.
They both also agreed to have their weapons destroyed, having initially asked that they be donated to a museum of historical artefacts.
Because the charges are misdemeanors, the McCloskeys do not face the possibility of losing their law licenses and can continue to buy and own other firearms.
In the hearing, the couple both spoke calmly when answering questions from Judge David Mason.
Mason asked Mark if he acknowledged that his actions put people at risk of personal injury to which he replied: ‘I sure did your honor.’
On the courthouse steps, Mark was then unapologetic, saying: ‘I’d do it again.
‘Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.’
The McCloskeys’ defense lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said after the hearing the couple had hoped to raise money by donating Mark’s rifle to charity, but acknowledged that it was an unusual request.
Special prosecutor Richard Callahan called the outcome ‘an appropriate and fair disposition for the parties involved as well as the public good.’
‘[The protesters] were a racially mixed and peaceful group, including women and children, who simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor’s house,’ he said.
‘There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured onto a private enclave.’
Last July, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner charged the couple with felony unlawful use of a weapon for displaying guns during the protest.
The McCloskeys were then indicted by a grand jury in October on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering.
The charges led to a backlash from several Republican leaders and then-President Trump.
In December, a judge then ruled that Gardner had created an appearance of impropriety by mentioning the McCloskey case in fundraising emails before the August Democratic primary.
Gardner, who went on to win reelection, was dismissed from the case and Callahan, a longtime judge and former US attorney, was appointed special prosecutor.
Callahan later amended the charges to give jurors the alternative of convictions of misdemeanor harassment instead of the weapons charge.
Under that alternative, the evidence tampering count would be dropped.
Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson previously said if the McCloskeys were convicted, he’d pardon them.
A spokeswoman for Parson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment after the hearing.
The McCloskeys were filmed pointing their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who were chanting ‘Let’s Go’ and marching past the McCloskeys’ property on June 28 last year.
The couple are seen in the footage patrolling back and forth at their front door with their weapons raised.
Patricia is seen holding a semiautomatic handgun and moving closer to the protesters speaking to them as some stand and argue back.
Other demonstrators are heard shouting at everyone to ‘Go’ as Patricia continues waving her handgun at them from her front lawn.
Mark watches from the front door with his AR-15-style rifle.
No shots were fired during the confrontation and no one was injured.
The protesters were marching to the home of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson when they turned onto a private street on which the couple’s mansion sits.
The incident came amid nationwide racial justice protests following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of white cop Derek Chauvin on Memorial Day 2020.
The McCloskeys defended their actions, claiming the protesters were trespassing and that they feared for their safety.
The couple tried to use the Castle Doctrine defense – allowing people in Missouri to defend their property.
They also claimed the demonstrators had also been armed and had threatened to kill them.
Prosecutors insisted the group was peaceful and unarmed.
The incident drew the attention of Trump and other conservative figures and the couple was invited to speak at the Republican National Convention in August.
They gave a speech where they touted Trump’s defense of the Second Amendment and warned Americans of the ‘mob.’
Last month, Mark then formally announced his run for US Senate in the 2022 race to take the seat held by Senator Roy Blunt, who is retiring.
He told Fox News he was running to stop Joe Biden‘s ‘socialism’ and because people are ‘tired of cancel culture’ and ‘the big lie of racism.’