Missouri Court Denies McCloskeys’ Request to Regain Guns

A couple that gained notoriety for defending themselves against BLM “protesters”

Mark and Patricia McCloskey became the focus of an activist prosecutor when they told Black Lives Matter rioters to keep off their property, and an appeals court in Missouri decided that they could not have their guns back.

The context is that the case became a “cause celebre for many on the left and right,” according to legal expert Jonathan Turley.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner first charged the two; however, she was later removed from the case due to ethical issues. Mark McCloskey ultimately entered a guilty plea to two misdemeanors to end the legal proceedings.

The governor then wanted to get his guns returned after pardoning them.

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled in the negative.

Turley clarified that he had always doubted Gardner’s intentions and accusations. At the same time, Judges James M. Dowd, John P. Torbitzky, and Michael S. Wright stated that while a pardon indicates someone is “excised” of a crime, it does not imply innocence.

They decided that McCloskey lost possession of the guns because he entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault.

They found that means the state law concerning the forfeiture of guns remains.

The judges explained, “While we agree that the pardon restored all of his rights forfeited by the conviction and removed any legal disqualification, disadvantage, or impediment, Missouri law is unequivocal that a gubernatorial pardon obliterates the fact of the conviction, not the fact of guilt.Thus, McCloskey’s guilty plea, for which he obtained the benefit of the State dismissing a felony charge punishable by jail time, survived the pardon and importantly, with respect to the issue at hand in this replevin action, triggered the guns’ forfeiture.”

They added, “Therefore since McCloskey’s guilt remains, it follows that he is not entitled to the return of the weapons….”

The judges claimed that the pardon’s impact “ends at the obliteration of the conviction.”

They wrote, “The law recognizes the difference between a conviction and guilt. Here, McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and voluntarily forfeited his firearms in exchange for the state dismissing a felony charge punishable by imprisonment. Thus, his inability to recover his firearms is not a legal disqualification, impediment, or other legal disadvantage that is a consequence of his conviction. Rather, the permanent forfeiture is a consequence of his guilt. And because only the conviction is obliterated by the pardon and McCloskey’s guilt remains, we find that the governor’s pardon does not entitle him to possession of his forfeited firearms….”

Turley noted, “If upheld, the decision shows the cost of a plea when an individual is also seeking a pardon. Many had long called for a pardon to be issued, but governors will often wait for the legal system to play out to some degree before intervening. The pardon does not mean that you will be treated as innocent or that your property will be returned.”

A far-left member of Congress who participated in some Black Lives Matter marches during the historic 2020 summer of rioting and damage across America went on the attack over a pardon for the McCloskeys two years ago, as WND reported.

Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, made a not-so-subtle threat at the time.

Regarding Mark McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, who chose to defend their property after one of those marches brought a mob to it without their knowledge, Bush said, “His day will come.” Missouri Governor Mike Parson pardoned them for minor firearms charges.

Bush declared that “His day will come” while participating in the march that led to the McCloskey property.

Gardner did not charge any of the demonstrators, but she did accuse the McCloskeys of having guns.

Subsequently, an appeals court dismissed the lawsuit, finding that she had attempted to use it as a vehicle for political advancement.

The McCloskeys’ attorney clarified that the reason the two had guns was because they were “threatened” by the “demonstrators,” who had broken down a fence to enter the private street where they lived.

But the McCloskeys might already be laughing all the way to the bank.

In photographs posted online, McCloskey grinned from ear to ear while showing off his new AR-15.

The caption says, “Checking out my new AR! #2A #MOSen”