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Missouri law may be on the side of the couple seen pointing guns at protesters



#Patricia McCloskey #Attorney Kim Gardner #John Ammann #News & Politics
ST. LOUIS โ€” Images of two St. Louis lawyers standing in front of their million dollar home, and threatening a large group of protesters with guns, are making headlines around the world.

There's a lot of speculation about what legal consequences Mark and Patricia McCloskey could face over their reaction to protesters.


In a statement on Monday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said she was alarmed that "peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault."

While her office is investigating, the I-Team decided to take a look at the laws surrounding private property and your rights to defend yourself.

"Some people might say well why didn't they just go back into their homes. You could argue that as a practical matter, but the law says you don't have to retreat," said John Ammann, Professor Emeritus with the Saint Louis University School of Law.

"They have the open carry law in Missouri, that allows them to have their guns in public. We have the Castle Doctrine that says you can defend your house, and your lives and your property and we have the law that says you can stand your ground and you don't need to retreat."

The McCloskeys told protesters they were on private property and on a private street.

People walk down private streets all the time -- Ammann said that doesn't automatically give a homeowner the right to threaten you with a weapon.

"If a neighbor is having people over for a picnic and they're walking down the street to the neighbor's house, this couple surely can't go on their front yard and point guns at them," said Ammann. "It creates a lot of practical problems if you're if you think that you're the private security guard for the entire neighborhood."

So could the gun-wielding attorneys find themselves in legal trouble?

"If anything were brought against the homeowners, one might consider something like that assault because If you had if you had a protester, who's come forward saying 'the gun was pointed at me. I was in fear for my safety and I didn't do anything wrong'... that this gets into another issue."


Overall, Amman said any charge would be a long shot.

"The end result might be a there was technically illegal behavior on both sides and 'We're going to come up with a with a plan to deal with it'." said Amman.

The couple claims at least one protester threatened them with a gun- and that's their ultimate legal defense.

"This is the new frontier of protesting in St. Louis, because a few years ago, you would not have seen the police backing off and the line people to take over entire streets with protest," said Amman.

KSDK News photo 1 Missouri law may be on... KSDK News photo 2 Missouri law may be on... KSDK News photo 3 Missouri law may be on... KSDK News photo 4 Missouri law may be on...

Donโ€™t protest on private property, donโ€™t destroy private property and you wonโ€™t have guns pointed at you

by Jeanelle Rene 2 months ago

The prosecutor needs to be prosecuted in this case.

by Richard O'Neal 2 months ago

Law SHOULD be at their side.
If not: all is lost.
Respect to this couple.
We stand by them, all the way!

by R F 2 months ago

Why do we elect such incompetent, divisive, and asinine people into office? For the sake of 'diversity' ?

by Hank Moody 2 months ago

They should sue everyone who supported trespassers.

by Abhishek Dev 2 months ago

It's appalling, thus old couple must have been terrified by this pack of wild dogs trespassing their property. They reaction was completely normal anyone would have done the same.

by Bingo Bongo 2 months ago

Iโ€™m glad that the couple stood their ground.

by biggin7740 2 months ago

They are not protestors when they break into private property and threaten peoples lives. They are criminals.

by dubya85 2 months ago

"The gate was already open." In what state.. make that country, is that a recognized legal defense?

by Chiefkyle 2 months ago

Yikes, she calls that "a peaceful protest????"

by P D 2 months ago

they BROKE into a private community and tresspassed.

by Brian Walker 2 months ago

Letโ€™s see how the DA responds if a group of people head toward her house shouting and screaming I bet the police would be there in a heart beat

by Brian Hahn 2 months ago

They mob BROKE the gate into private property, and the mob was trespassing private property going toward the house, that is enough reason to stop them and stand your ground.

by Edith Nogueira 2 months ago

Who remembers which party has Always Said they want to confiscate guns?

This was planned for some time.

by Chris Young 2 months ago

โ€œThere was no reason whatsoever for them to be out there in a aggressive confrontational way,โ€

Is he talking about the protestors who broke down the gate to private property, because heโ€™s totally right.

by Andrew Craft 2 months ago

That circuit attorney is a parasite in office, there was nothing peaceful about that protest..

by romantic Roman 2 months ago

Hey ksdk. Not protesters
Thugs and rioters. DA needs fired.

by Hill Monica 2 months ago

The gate was not open, there were pictures posted of the gate being destroyed so the rioters could get into their private property and destroy everything. They told the couple they'd kill them and their dog and burn their house down.

by 12 year old decoy 2 months ago

Yeah the "Peaceful Protesters" that burn down houses, have killed people, and invade private property.

by Brent Rossi 4 weeks ago

Blm has raised a billion dollars. Are they gonna replace or pay to fix the gate? Hell no because it was a white folks home.

by Michael Mendel 2 months ago

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