McCloskey’s Beat Rap, Claim Victory in Plea Deal with Anti-gun Prosecutor

Published reports say a Nov. 1 trial date is tentatively set for Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple that stood outside their home last year to ward off protesters. (Screen snip, YT, PBS)

U.S.A.-( Almost a year ago, on 28 June 2020, a mob of loud, screaming BLM protestors in St. Louis, Missouri, followed the agitators/leaders into private property through a locked gate.

Reacting to the threats, Mark and Patricia McCloskey grabbed two firearms, an AR-15 type rifle, and an inoperable Bryco semi-automatic pistol. The McCloskeys seemed fully justified under Missouri law. The state Attorney General defended them in public. The Governor said he would pardon them if they were prosecuted.

This did not deter radical St. Louis Circuit Attorney (prosecutor) Kim Gardner. She insisted on prosecuting the McCloskeys. Eventually, she was removed from the case for conflict of interest.  Gardner appealed the decision, lost the appeal, then appealed the Missouri Supreme Court, which decided not to hear the case.

Richard C. Callahan was appointed as the special prosecutor to take the place of Kim Gardner. An unbiased special prosecutor would have dropped all charges. Callahan was not unbiased.

Special Prosecutor Callahan had spent 30 years as a St. Louis prosecutor. He had been appointed by President Barack Obama as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, in 2010.  Callahan is reported to be a longtime ally of former Senator Claire McCaskill (D) Missouri.  Callahan is a lifelong Democrat.

Some of the statements made by Prosecutor Callahan, after the plea deal was agreed to, were telling. From

Getting a conviction on the felony charge would make it subject to all of the gun laws that favor self defense in Missouri.

“The state would have to prove those defenses and I don’t think I could have won at trial. The advantage to the harassment charge was, by a quirk in the way law is written, none of those defenses are available, so I knew that’s where I was going and that’s where I would probably win if it went to trial.

Later, Callahan, in the same article:

Callahan also balked at the couple’s request to have the guns rendered ineffective and given to a charity for auction as historic artifacts. The judge denied the request.

“I thought the most important aspect was to forfeit and destroy the guns,” Callahan said. “Some groups wanted to buy the gun and use it as a trophy display.”

A prosecutor who says a purely symbolic act, that of destroying guns used in a self-defense case, is the most important aspect, is not unbiased. He wanted the guns destroyed more than he was willing to accept funding for the state, even if the guns were de-activated.

Callahan showed he believes state control of guns is more important than justice or truth. He showed making a political statement is more important to him than concerning himself with justice, guilt, or innocence.

Callahan made this statement about the angry mob the McCloskeys faced.  From  Richard G. Callahan Special Prosecutor Statement June 17, 2021

The protesters, Callahan said, “were a racially mixed and peaceful group, including women and children, who simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor’s house. There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured into a private enclave.”

Who a prosecutor chooses to interview makes a large difference. Callahan had plenty of reasons to choose to interview only people who validated the narrative he wanted to be promoted.

St. Louis PD Sgt. Curt Burgdorf, when he investigated the incident, found a different story. From,

“Once through the gate, the victims advised the group that they were on a private street and trespassing and told them to leave,” the police summary further states. “The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims. When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police.”

The police investigation showed evidence some of the mob were armed.  From a report by Sgt. Burgdorf:

[…] [Burgdorf] noted in follow up reports that at least one of the protesters was armed with a handgun, and another was wearing a bullet-resistant vest with the words, “Human Shield” on it.

 In another livestream video, Burgdorf wrote a man was heard saying, “I was in front so I was the one who opened the gate. The gate was broken after they pulled a gun. What law did we break? We keep guns there but not for show though. Not to look a certain way, but for use. If they would’ve shot then they would’ve been put down.”

A source inside the St. Louis Police Department confirmed there was evidence in the report some of the group were armed. Callahan had to ignore the police report to make the statement:

There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon

With the deck stacked against him by a political prosecutor, Mark McCloskey chose the best of the choices available. He beat the rap by taking the plea deal. Then he explained it on Twitter:

@mccloskA year ago, the mob came to my door to attack my family— I backed them down The mob came for me, the media attacked me & prosecutors tried to punish me for defending my family They dropped all charges, except for a claim I instilled “imminent fear” in the mob I’d do it again.

The McCloskeys can replace the firearms easily.

Anyone who watches the videos can see the McCloskeys had reason to be afraid of the mob. Most of the people in the group probably were peaceful. Most of the people probably did not know they were on private property, at first.

Analysis: The video shows the agitators leading the group through the gate. Mobs are easily lead.  The people who organized the “protest” intended to trespass on the private property from the beginning. They illegally jimmied the gate and lead the mass of protestors through it. They were hoping to instigate a violent incident. They knew Kim Gardner had their back, and would prosecute anyone opposing them.

The McCloskeys took the best deal they could get. They beat the rap, even though political opposition will claim the plea shows then to be the ones at fault.

If the evidence of the political bias of the prosecutor is made known, this need not hurt Mark McCloskey’s Senate campaign.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Law enforcers followed orders to arrest the McCloskeys. Law enforcers followed orders not to arrest the people who were threatening the McCloskeys. Those same law enforcers probably tell their neighbors they are “pro Second Amendment.” Curt Burgdorf is no hero. He’s just another law enforcer who will follow almost any order. Approximately 20% of law enforcers are former military members and that percent goes up for the “door kickers.” Many “pro Second Amendment” people rail about politicians breaking their “oaths,” but stick their head in the sand when it comes to the actual people (many of whom are former military… Read more »


If I was still in law enforcement, I would probably be fired, rather than follow an unconstitutional (unlawful) order. The police who violated the 2A by confiscating the McCloskey’s firearms really don’t understand the Constitution, and should not be in that line of work.


I appreciate your comment and it’s unfortunate more law enforcers don’t indicate they will refuse to enforce never-ending gun control laws. On this site, most of the law enforcers (current and former) who have spoken up on the matter have indicated they would follow orders. I believe them since there are so many documented instances of law enforcers following any order to enforce any law and following orders to not enforce any law. Totalitarians will use a proliferation of laws, in combination with law enforcers who will follow orders, to enforce those laws against their enemies and not enforce those… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

I have a different opinion on that. I think they knew full well what they were doing and though not willfully they followed orders because they did not want to be brought up for charges of insubordination which could lead to dismissal. In other words get fired and their jobs mean more to them than following the constitution because they do not have moral fortitude. Too often money is the most important factor that influences decision rather than morals. Unfortunately we all need to eat and take care of our family’s and the government uses that to their advantage because… Read more »


No, the police who arrested and disarmed the McCloskeys are armed felons and should have been dealt with accordingly. Police don’t have magical powers that the rest of us don’t have. They love to pretend otherwise.


If by “they” you are referring to the majority of law enforcers who will follow any order to enforce any law and follow any order to not enforce any law, yes they are liars. They know many of the laws they enforce are unconstitutional even though the Supreme Court has not ruled on the matter. They enforce the laws for a variety of reasons: Some just get off on making people respect their authority; Some don’t like the idea of non-government employees being armed; Some want to get promoted so they will do whatever their boss wants them to do;… Read more »


Maybe he is one of the good ones.

Ask him if he decides to enforce laws requiring registration of semiautomatic firearms (or cooperate with federal law enfrocers who are doing so) is he ok with losing his job, his pension, being banned from ever working for any government entity and being subject to civil suits whereby he might lose his savings, his home, his vehicles, and anything else of value.


My response is on hold.


Colorado needs more sheriffs like him.


Ok, time for that governor pardon that was promised.


They helped themselves, but they sure didn’t do the Second Amendment any favors. They pleaded guilty to exercising their Second Amendment rights. Other unscrupulous prosecutors will be encouraged to bring charges against other people defending themselves.


Other law enforcers will be encouraged to arrest people defending themselves.




If any officer attempts to disarm and arrest you for defense of your life and property while on your property, that individual is now an armed felon actively committing several felonies, and should be dealt with accordingly.


The majority don’t care about the insane murder rate in certain neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago. However, if someone defends themself against an enforcer, there will be hundreds of enforcers responding.

You stated the theoretical argument.

The practical matter is quite different.


A win is when we can exercise our rights freely. Until then, we are playing a game.

So if one party takes your property, and will not give it back, you are justified in taking it back. It will cost you in the end, either through the court system, election system, or the 2nd Amendment system. But for them to be able to do what they do on our dime, while we pay to live lesser lives – we should not tolerate this.



Good post, particularly the last two sentences. These sum up the situation succinctly.

Yet in another thread, I believe you argued that the NFA was Constitutional because the SCOTUS said so, and this is a republic. These two posts are in blatant contradiction to each other.


They did the smart thing. This sort of thing happens all of the time. Few people can afford the cost of the trial, and who knows what the jury or judge will do? If the governor is at all honest, he will still pardon them!


I saw a lot of posts from people screaming they caved. Well they must have unlimited money in the bank because lawyers generate billable hours and this could have run into six figures. Plus the felony charges were dropped which made it a slam dunk IMHO. Sorry they lost their weapons but the money they saved goes towards new ones.

Deplorable Bill

This is not what I would call a win. They should never have been charged in the first place. They had every right to defend themselves and they had every reason to do so. These people were threatened by a armed mob who had just broken down their gate. The fact that there were no bodies to pick up is a good example of restraint on the couple’s part. They would have been clearly in the right had they dropped any of the armed in the mob who threatened them. Life is a precious thing to me and obviously to… Read more »

Dubi Loo

Where is the prosecution of the government employees who altered the submitted (guns) evidence? Facetious I know but still a valid point.


“He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day.” proverb If one is overmatched, it is better to retreat than continuing to fight. You definitely did the right thing by running away—that bully is so much bigger than you! He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day.


If the McCloskeys had been black and the mob had been white, they could have opened fire and killed a dozen of them and not only would they have not been prosecuted, but they would be proclaimed as heroes and there would be statues of them across the country by now.


I’m hoping that Gov Parsons does pardon them as he just signed a bill to form the laws in Mo to over step the fed laws that are being jammed on legal gun owners, the goody-to-shoes want to make sure that their Liberal Laws aren’t being stepped on T/S, we keep giving up our rights for being LEGAL GUN OWNERS at every turn and being restricted as to what and how we can carry them!!!!!!!!!! There is one law on the books that should be removed, THE RED FLAG LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!


I am reading by some they did the right thing and saved a lot of money in attorneys fees. I realize that is true but herein lies the problem. Again, big political power wins because of the endless almighty tax payer dollar and the cost of protecting yourself. The plea deal they took says that they instilled “imminent fear” to the crowd. That was a result of the imminent fear given to them first by the crowd first and was a result of the crowds action. Doesn’t that count for anything? This whole thing stinks. As for them keeping the… Read more »

AZ Lefty

That means they admitted to committing a crime so how is that a “Victory?”


They probably plead “Nolo Contendere” rather than “guilty”. There is an important difference! Been there, did that, on a traffic accident matter.


He didnt win anything.
He freely gave up his rights.
If he wont even fight for his own rights , ( after pledging to fight all the way), he sure as hell, if elected , isnt going to fight for his constituents rights.

Just another RINO giving lipservice to try to get elected.


I’m hoping that Gov Parsons does pardon them, he has signed a bill to to over ride any federal law that will hamper gun ownership in Mo, and is being questioned on clarifying that law, the goody-to-shoes want to find a way around it as usual!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One other thing that has to go is THE RED FLAG LAW on the BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

uncle dudley

The prosecutor said the protesters didn’t know they were on a private street, well prosecutor, ignorance of the law is no excuse ask a judge.
The McCloskey’s were promised a pardon by the governor of Missouri if they were found guilty, so why didn’t they ask for a change of venue and fight the case.
Guess they were afraid of losing their law license’s, Mr. McCloskey may as well forget about running for the senate seat being vacated by Blunt as most gun owners felt he should have fought the case.


I can’t agree with that. The governor should have pardoned them from the get-go, not “if you get convicted”, which meant they would’ve had to endure the torture and expense of a trial, facing felony charges, relying on a non-binding pardon promise that could be broken. “Sure, I’ll pardon you… Don’t worry… PSYCH, sucka!” Sounds like the gov is a RINO who couldn’t be trusted. Also, the gov may be jungled up with McClosky’s R opponent. He made the promise before McClosky announced he was running.

Don’t judge until it’s you facing felony charges.


The Governor does not have the authority to pardon before a conviction. Only the POTUS has that ability.


Prove it. Even if true, where’s the pardon NOW?

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

And ignorance of The Supreme Law should be no excuse to just OBEY unconstitutional, immoral decrees, orders & “laws”…including orders to OBEY decrees to Just Observe civilians beaten, robbed & killed, dreams looted & burned. Those who put paycheck over honor & moral duty should be civilians. We should encourage more armed, trained, organized, ‘regulated’, civilians with all indemnifications given to professional police. In addition to honoring individual carry: armed neighborhood watch, Sheriff Posses, even the demonized Militia word. Every R state should ban “GF” zones in public places & businesses open to the public. Honor employee carry rights. The… Read more »

APG member

They received GUILTY CONVICTIONS, GOT THEIR GUN CONFISCATED and “claim victory”?!?! Cognitive dissidence/Stockholm Syndrome!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by APG member

Yes, but they’re misdemeanors, not felonies. Therefore, they can replace their guns legally. See this as an opportunity to upgrade, especially the Bryco. Maybe it had sentimental value, but the article said it was non-functional, and they do have a bad reputation.

A pardon, or expungement would still be nice, lest this type of misdemeanor be made into an arms-disqualifying offence, like misdemeanor domestic violence has been.

Last edited 1 year ago by buzzsaw
APG member

You seem to have Stockholm Syndrome as well! Do you understand the implications of 2A? These individuals now have criminal records, and have been deprived of their property! Do you imagine you live in a free society?!?!


We do not live in a free society.


APG? RPG is a rocket propelled grenade (Which is protected by the Second Amendment, but the government apparently hasn’t gotten the memo…) Air Propelled Grenade?


Here is why they took the deal.