One of Missouri’s top legal advisers will end a controversial lawsuit against a St. Louis couple who allegedly showed anti-police protesters they were armed.
Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt is intervening in state Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s legal action against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, for brandishing a rifle. The McCloskeys took up arms when extreme “anarchist” demonstrators gathered outside their home on June 28. The weapon was confiscated after the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department searched the property.
“As Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer, I simply will not stand by while Missouri laws are being ignored,” Schmitt said in a video shared on Twitter. “That is why I am entering the case in terms of seeking the dismissal of the case to protect the rights of Missourians to defend themselves in their property under Missouri’s castle doctrine.”
The rule recognizes residents’ right to respond to intruders with force and without a duty to retreat because their home is their “castle.” If someone trespasses and disrupts the “sanctity” of their home, they intend to harm, and residents can ward off their advances according to the FindLaw website.
“The right to keep and bear arms is given the highest level of protection in the Missouri Constitution and their laws, which I am charged for protecting,” Schmitt said. “This includes the Missouri castle doctrine, which provides broad rights for Missourians to protect and defend their personal safety, and property against those who wish to do them harm.”
The attorney general described Gardner’s litigation as nothing more than a politically motivated move.
“The shameless circuit attorney filed suit against a St. Louis couple who, according to published reports, say they were doing just that–defending the safety of their property,” he said. “A political prosecution, such as this one, would have a chilling effect on Missourians exercising their right to self-defense. The law of Missouri is clear and must be protected … enough is enough.”
The remarks came after the Show-Me State Gov. Mike Parson said he would pardon the couple. “By all means, I would [pardon them] and I do think that is exactly what would happen,” he told 97.1FM’s “Marc Cox Morning Show.“
The governor believes Gardner’s intolerance and plans to sue the couple for choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights appear to be more like a matter of pride than real law enforcement.
“Right now this is all about going after them because they did an awful act,” he said. “If that scenario happened I do not think they are going to spend any time in jail … “Kim Gardner is making the crime problem in St. Louis worse, stating, again, ‘elections matter.'”