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Missouri Judge Rules McCloskeys Not Entitled To Have Guns Returned After Pardon

Missouri Judge Rules McCloskeys Not Entitled To Have Guns Returned After Pardon

“While the governor’s pardon does clear plaintiff’s record of the conviction . . . his guilt remains and the terms of an agreement that predicated said guilt also remains.”

In the summer of 2020, when burning, looting, and murdering mobs were rampaging in Democrat-run cities and states, the McCloskeys infamously stood firm outside their St. Louis, Missouri residence.

For protecting their property with firearms, the McCloskeys were indicted on two felony counts in October, 2020; plead guilty in June 2021 to misdemeanor charges and agreed to surrender the weapons used in the incident; and were pardoned by Republican governor Mike Parson in August, 2021.

Following this chain of events, the McCloskeys sued to have their weapons returned and their fines remitted. A judge ruled this week that the pardon does not have bearing on the plea deal.

Fox News reports:

A Missouri judge ruled this week that Mark and Patricia McCloskey aren’t entitled to get their weapons back or have their fines remitted because they were pardoned by the governor after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges last year.

The McCloskeys pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and second-degree harassment, both misdemeanors, connected to a standoff with protesters in 2020.

The couple waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who had entered a private road in front of their home in June 2020.

Mark McCloskey brought a lawsuit last year in which he alleged the couple was entitled to the Colt AR-15 rifle and a Bryco .380-caliber they were forced to surrender after their plea deal and the roughly $2,750 they were ordered to pay.

The couple was pardoned by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, after they pleaded guilty.

Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty ruled Wednesday that the pardon had no bearing on the plea agreement.

“Plaintiff and his wife are required to follow through with their end of the bargain,” she wrote.

The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch has more:

Mark McCloskey said he plans to appeal.

“We’ll see what the Court of Appeals has to say,” he said.

. . . . On Wednesday, Moriarty wrote that a pardon doesn’t change the terms of a plea agreement.

“While the governor’s pardon does clear plaintiff’s record of the conviction,” she wrote, “his guilt remains and the terms of an agreement that predicated said guilt also remains.”


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The issue’s pretty simple: “Does a pardon in Missouri change the terms of a plea agreement?”

It seems to render the plea agreement moot, doesn’t it? And this, from the Missouri government:

“Full Pardon – …..A full pardon restores all rights of citizenship and removes any disqualification or punitive collateral consequence stemming from the conviction without conditions or restrictions.”

Give him his guns back, you dumbass.

Why would you want a Bryco 380 back?

    Because it’s their property and legally should be returned to its owner.

    (And I’d use it as trade bait for another weapon.)

    My thoughts exactly … ain’t like it’s a Kimber …

    Chewbacca in reply to Tsquared79. | January 1, 2023 at 12:30 am

    Because it’s his and it’s being illegally withheld by an incompetent judge.

      diver64 in reply to Chewbacca. | January 1, 2023 at 7:25 am

      The lawsuit far outweighs the cost of the firearm. Go buy another one. If it were a Purdy or a Westley Richards 600 Nitro, though, I would fight to the end of time

        alien in reply to diver64. | January 1, 2023 at 9:47 am

        The McCloskeys are convicted felons now. Think they can toddle on down to Gene’s Guns and walk out with a new purchase?

          rbj1 in reply to alien. | January 1, 2023 at 11:17 am

          The McCloskeys pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and second-degree harassment, both misdemeanors

          Misdemeanors, not felonies

          DaveGinOly in reply to alien. | January 1, 2023 at 11:19 am

          No, they are not. Did you not read the excerpt from the law (in’s comment above)?

          Withholding their firearms/property after being pardoned is like insisting that a pardon doesn’t free an imprisoned person, because the person agreed to imprisonment as a part of a plea deal. The imprisoned citizen gets his right to freedom back in such a situation. Freedom is just another right, like the rights to arms and property.

          Under Missouri law, their “conviction” (whether it be a felony or misdemeanor) does not preclude them from buying firearms.


          “Full Pardon – …..A full pardon restores all rights of citizenship and removes any disqualification or punitive collateral consequence stemming from the conviction without conditions or restrictions.”

        (my opinion, not backed up by research) I’d say about 8 times out of 10, if you are arrested for any kind of defensive gun use regardless of the circumstances, you’re not getting that gun back. You can *ask* the system to get it returned, but it’s unlikely. Even moreso if it’s a Kimber with a custom grip and trigger with a comma in the price tag. Don’t burn excess money on the process if you see the signs.

    diver64 in reply to Tsquared79. | January 1, 2023 at 7:15 am

    Why would you want a Bryco back? That was my first question. The should use this as an opportunity to buy a decent self defense weapon.

Why would you want a Bryco 380 back?
Maybe she is a collector of $70 Sat. night specials. IMO, they should call it quits with litigation. IMO, they were very fortunate that the prosecutor was an idiot and that they were connected in the political community. An ordinary person charged by a competent prosecutor could be facing a felony conviction.

    alaskabob in reply to SHV. | December 31, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    A smart presecutor wouldn’t have pressed charges considering trespassing after forced entry.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to alaskabob. | January 1, 2023 at 5:34 pm

      There is a huge problem, Remember when the went after Zimmerman, the Officer Wilson and a long list of similar cases, and all the riots and looting, stolen elections (lots of proof in Twitter file dumps), Jan 6 and a slew for outragious civil rights violations.? The scope of what has been happening is incredible, It is organized, like transporting illegals to our border. There is so much more, make no mistake, there are traitors.

      You’re forgetting it was that Soros maggot, Kim Gardner.

        mbecker908 in reply to | January 1, 2023 at 7:30 pm

        Neither of the guns were functional when they went outside. Effectively, he had a bat, she had a rock.

          that’s not true: his wife’s pistol was nonfunctioning. The AR was ready to deliver.

          Even leftist Wikipedia tells it that way:

          “On July 10, 2020, St. Louis police seized Mark McCloskey’s rifle. The McCloskeys’ previous attorney, Al Watkins, was in possession of the handgun which had been held by Patricia McCloskey, claiming it was to ensure that the handgun was not tampered with. Watkins claimed that the handgun was not functional and could not be fired, and that Patricia knew it was not functional when she held it during the confrontation with the protestors. Watkins then turned over the handgun to the authorities. The handgun had been nonfunctional because it was used as evidence in a previous unrelated trial.[25][26]”

          On September 30, 2020, police announced they were dropping charges of trespassing against protesters.[27]

Subotai Bahadur | December 31, 2022 at 8:28 pm

Actually they are lucky that the Federales did not kidnap them and turn them over to ANTIFA to be executed.

Subotai Bahadur

If the McCloskeys were on their property why was law enforcement allowed to take their weapons? I haven’t read any account of them threatening anyone. You should have the right to protect yourself and your loved ones if a threat exist and the perps are on your property. The police were in the wrong charging them when it should have been law enforcement’s duty to remove the trespassers if they didn’t agree to leave the McCloskey’s property. The judge is in the wrong in not returning their weapons since a FULL pardon was given.

The way they handled those weapons, they’re probably a lot safer without them.

    Wrong. It saved their home and probably their lives.

    BriVermonter in reply to txvet2. | January 1, 2023 at 5:39 am

    another lefty Fascist gun-grabber heard from…

      You’re new here, so you may not know that calling our readers names will get your comment removed. So far you have posted 14 times, and three of your comments were removed. I would remove this one, as well, but txvet is good people and a long-time reader we value, so I doubt he’ll mind my using your false and c/rude comment as a point of contact.

      Here’s the contact: cut it out. Do not call anyone who comments here names. Period. Focus on ideas/law/policy, not people, and certainly not on our people (i.e. txvet, Milhouse, et al.). Keep it civil; this is not the Daily Kos.

        Old Navy Doc in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | January 1, 2023 at 10:04 am

        Thanks for stopping the playground mudslinging. Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde are required reading for LI. “A sharp tongue is no indication of a keen mind”

          I love that quote! If you have nothing, you resort to name-calling and mud-slinging. We see it on the left all the time, so it’s really troubling to see the right embrace such tactics. No one is going to see, “you’re a great big fat Nazi!” and go “d’oh, what’s wrong with me, you’re right, we just need to be complete buttholes to everyone and then they will support us and our candidate! What was I thinking?” Yeah, no.

        heh heh I’ve gotten away with crap over the years.
        its a pick your battles issue 🙂

        Fuzzy, I have to disagree with you on this one. Calling a modern democrat a “Fascist gun-grabber” is very accurate, no less than calling someone illegally entering the US an ‘Illegal alien”.

        “”so I doubt he’ll mind my using your false and c/rude comment as a point of contact.””

        I don’t mind, although name-calling doesn’t bother me – lying does.

      Except for the fact that I was referring to their apparent incompetence, which has nothing to do with gun ownership. I, like most Texans, own several ranging from handguns to shotguns to sporting rifles.

    diver64 in reply to txvet2. | January 1, 2023 at 7:19 am

    I didn’t notice them handling the firearms dangerously or actually pointing the firearms at someone. I found it odd they were prosecuted when they were standing on their own property holding firearms to protect themselves from a mob that entered a private street. Seemed strange to me. They should never have taken a plea deal and let the State take them to a jury. I know there is a cost involved but they would have been cleared I am sure

      DaveGinOly in reply to diver64. | January 1, 2023 at 11:27 am

      I’m thinking that “brandishing a firearm” and “threatening” someone with same (and similar charges) are only applicable when these actions are done to no lawful purpose. If displaying firearms and pointing them at someone(s) are done to protect life and property, such acts are not inherently unlawful/criminal. It’s only when such acts are done for unlawful purposes, such as robbery or criminal threatening, that the acts should be prosecuted.

      guyjones in reply to diver64. | January 1, 2023 at 11:39 am

      The entire prosecution was a vindictive political stunt. To prosecute citizens standing on their own property, for brandishing firearms in obvious defense of their person and property (yes, I know lethal force can’t be used solely in defense of property), while a rampaging mob of Dumb-o-crat thugs breaks into their gated community is an act that is totally devoid of any factual or legal basis. This case was the definition of a malicious prosecution, undertaken to placate the Dumb-o-crat mob.

      guyjones in reply to diver64. | January 1, 2023 at 11:41 am

      Agreed; they should have gone to trial. Accepting a plea was a mistake. I know it’s easy to say that when it’s not my freedom that’s at jeopardy, but, I firmly believe that core constitutional freedoms must be fought for and vindicated. You cannot concede an inch to these Dumb-o-crat tyrants.

        txvet2 in reply to guyjones. | January 2, 2023 at 2:45 pm

        “”they should have gone to trial.””

        Easy to say, harder to do unless you’re able to afford the attorney’s fees. What’s that saying? “The process is the punishment.”

      alaskabob in reply to diver64. | January 1, 2023 at 11:57 am

      Considering the initial prosecutor …probably moot…but a “low ready” position not pointing the firearm up as she did might have been helpful …but the message was plain….restorative justice abrogates any laws protecting the “oppressor class”. In the end….The BLM gang “won”.

      Reading a book now on how the Soviets seized power in Eastern Europe after WWII. Spoiler alert.

      Man, have you people forgotten Soro’s maggot of a city attorney Kim Gardener??

    Well, I appreciate TXVet2’s snark. I was thinking the McCloskey’s attended the Barney Fife school of gun safety. 8)

      They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a gun . . . if you buy into the idea that owning a gun means you must be trained and licensed. I don’t buy into that because it undermines the Second. How do I gain my right to bear arms today? I register, I take government-approved classes, I pay for my carry permit. All complete BS shoved on us by the left; the right happily went along (as always completely clueless) and said, yeah! You need training and a license and a tax or you can’t exercise your God-given rights. Hmph.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | January 1, 2023 at 11:34 am

        Many of the same people who think “you should need a safety course and a license (both acquired with a fee) to purchase a gun, and the state should be able to inspect (upon your demand) the security of your storage arrangements” also think a photo ID is too onerous a burden in order to exercise the right to vote.

        Aside from the obvious imbalance, I point out to such people that the right to arms is a natural right (you can exercise it in complete isolation from any organized government), while the right to vote is a civil right (the exercise of which is dependent upon the existence of, and interaction with, a government), and as such is subject to (reasonable) rules governing its exercise.

        I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that Mark McCloskey “mishandled” his AR. He handled it quite well.

        Except, of course, that’s not what I said.

      alaskabob in reply to MrE. | January 1, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Barney Fife gun control is what the Left wants….one cartridge …one shot. one time…if ever. But we aren’t in Mayberry ……Mayberry was razed to the ground by the folks that gave us BLM, Antifa and F Joe Biden.

      Where do you get this idea from? McCloskey brandished his AR in the safest way possible, as did his wife in brandishing her pistol. If they started shooting, you’d have seen ‘proper form’. But they didn’t have to shoot. What they did worked perfectly: it saved their home and likely their lives.

      txvet2 in reply to MrE. | January 2, 2023 at 3:13 pm

      And that’s all it was, although my comment wasn’t based on the still above, it was based on the original (IIRC) video.

The judge needs to go back to law school. He doesn’t have a conviction. Period.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Chewbacca. | January 1, 2023 at 11:37 am

    He should attend to his own words:
    “While the governor’s pardon does clear plaintiff’s record of the conviction . . . his guilt remains and the terms of an agreement that predicated said guilt also remains.”
    And should be asked, “Reference the conviction that was a part of this ‘agreement’.” He obviously can’t. The surrender of property was a part of a deal that the governor of the state has vitiated.

    Oh, come on: his decision had nothing to do with the law, instead of politics.

I don’t know. It seems to stem from the Judge thinking that although the people were pardoned that does not invalidate a previous agreement which I guess is a legal contract? Seems strange to me and will be interesting to see it overturned. At least that is what I think should happen. If you get a pardon then everything is nullified.

One takeaway: be careful of those pleas that prosecutors are so keen to jam down your throat.

Another transparently politically-motivated, malicious and groundless prosecution. Add this one to the prosecutions of George Zimmerman and Kyle Rittenhouse, brought by Dumb-o-crat prosecutors not on the basis of facts, evidence and probable cause, but, solely to placate the vengeful bloodlust of the Dumb-o-crat mob.

E Howard Hunt | January 1, 2023 at 9:32 am

Forget the gun charges. They should have been charged with multiple felony dress crimes.

Anyone continuing to advocate for a weak executive congratulations on this wakeup call.

The only protection the executive was capable of giving in this case from overt railroading was a pardon post conviction (and yes a progressive jury would have meant a 100% chance of being convicted of the blasphemy charges that defending your ACTUAL HOME against BLM is to the left).

If you still think the 21st century Republican Party got it right and the 20th century Republican presidents all got it wrong I really don’t know how many examples in the 21st century you will need before you change your mind.

They treat abortionists, rapists, pedophiles, illegal aliens, and Some, Select Black Lives Matter better.

2smartforlibs | January 1, 2023 at 12:39 pm

Since in fact there was no crime. seizing a weapon would violate the 4th amendment.

BierceAmbrose | January 1, 2023 at 5:34 pm

I’m so old, I remember when the ACLU — the *civil liberties* people they were, no the social justice they’ve become — went straight up the courts for Nazi’s right to march in a heavily Jewish neighborhood.

Along with Fourth and Second amendments being tossed aside here, this is one more example of the Bill of Rights addition we need.(*) The right to property. Your stuff is your stuff. Humans find it hard to live without stuff. Like you might get beat, and burned out without guns to hold off the rioters. Hard to live without the house they burned you out off, too.

(*) We could use a couple structural and procedural amendments, as well.