St. Louis Couple Who Brandished Guns At Protesters Have Records Expunged, Demand Return of Firearms

A judge has expunged the misdemeanor convictions of a St. Louis couple who brandished firearms at racial injustice protesters in 2020. Attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey are now seeking the return of their confiscated guns.

The couple, who gained national attention for waving guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their mansion, had their records cleared by Judge Joseph P. Whyte. He emphasized that expungement aims to give rehabilitated individuals a second chance, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The McCloskeys filed for expungement in January, and despite opposition from city prosecutors and police, the judge ruled in their favor.

Following the ruling, Mark McCloskey immediately called for the return of the guns seized during his 2021 guilty plea to misdemeanor assault. “It’s time for the city to cough up my guns,” he told the Post-Dispatch. He also indicated his intention to file a lawsuit if the firearms are not returned.

The McCloskeys’ confrontation with protesters occurred in June 2020, as demonstrators passed their home en route to the mayor’s residence. The couple claimed they felt threatened and argued that the protesters were trespassing on a private street. Mark McCloskey wielded an AR-15-style rifle, while Patricia McCloskey held a semi-automatic pistol.

In the wake of their guilty plea, Republican Gov. Mike Parson pardoned the couple. This pardon, along with the recent expungement, has cleared their records, but the battle over their firearms continues.

The incident took place amid widespread protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The McCloskeys’ actions and subsequent legal battles have remained a focal point in discussions about self-defense, property rights, and the right to bear arms in the context of social justice protests.