GOP's favorite gun-toting couple indicted for unlawfully using weapons


Mark and Patricia McCloskey were also charged with evidence tampering.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who achieved notoriety in June when they were filmed aiming guns at and threatening racial injustice protesters outside their home, were indicted on Tuesday on two felony counts each of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering in connection with their actions.

The protesters were participating in one of the demonstrations that took place nationwide in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd in May.St. Louis city attorneys declined to charge nine people who had been issued citations by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police for trespassing on the McCloskeys' property saw their charges dropped by the City Councilor's Officer in the wake of nation wide protests against the police killing of the unarmed, handcuffed George Floyd.

The McCloskeys were invited speakers at the Republican National Convention in August, where they warned about protesters invading the suburbs and lashed out at Democrats.

"What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country, and that's what we want to speak to you about tonight," said Patricia McCloskey in the video for the convention. The couple said Democrats would "abolish the suburbs all together," echoing the thinly veiled racist theme often repeated by Donald Trump.

"Every single human being that was in front of my house was a criminal trespasser," Mark McCloskey said after leaving court on Tuesday. "Not a single one of those people is now charged with anything. We're charged with felonies that could cost us four years of our lives and our law licenses."

Despite Republicans celebrating the McCloskeys as star guests of their party's convention, the couple has found themselves on the other end of the demands for "law and order" that have become a constant refrain from Trump and his allies in Congress.

In the state of Missouri, unlawful use of a weapon is in most cases a Class D felony, carrying a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Tampering with evidence is a Class E felony, punishable by a $10,000 fine and four years in prison.

While they were treated as unofficial ambassadors for the gun rights movement and the Republican Party for a few short months, the McCloskeys, both personal injury attorneys, had previously sued large gun manufacturers over gun injuries, profiting from cases that held the companies liable.

Kim Gardner, the circuit attorney for the city of St. Louis who is prosecuting the couple, has been targeted by the McCloskeys with a lawsuit seeking to disqualify her and her office.

Gardner did not immediately respond to a request from The American Independent Foundation for comment.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.