St. Louis police served a warrant on lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey late Friday, the couple who went viral last month for defending their property from an encroaching mob of protesters.
Police confiscated both firearms — an AR-15 rifle and a handgun — that the McCloskeys were seen holding in photos and videos, according to KSDK-TV.
However, no charges have been filed against the couple. Law enforcement sources told KSDK the warrant was issued to seize the firearms only.
Image via Twitter @xshularx screenshot
The basis for the warrant and firearm seizure is not clear.
Missouri’s castle doctrine permits residents to protect property with lethal force, according to Anders Walker, a constitutional law professor at St. Louis University School of Law.
“At any point that you enter the property, they can then, in Missouri, use deadly force to get you off the lawn,” Walker told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “There’s no right to protest on those streets. The protesters thought they had a right to protest, but as a technical matter, they were not allowed to be there. … It’s essentially a private estate. If anyone was violating the law, it was the protesters.”
In fact, police later confirmed an investigation into the protesters — not the McCloskeys — for fourth-degree assault by intimidation, as well as trespassing.
Still, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, a Democrat, has claimed the McCloskeys committed a “violent assault,” and she vowed to “use the full power of Missouri law to hold [the McCloskeys] accountable.”
The attorney representing the McCloskeys, Joel Schwartz, told KSDK that he is seeking to meet with Gardner as soon as possible about the warrant.