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Judges Pull Trigger On Missouri’s McCloskey’s

Mark and Patricia McCloskey were controversially charged for taking measures to protect themselves from Black Lives Matter protesters.

Despite being pardoned by the Governor, an appeals court in Missouri ultimately ruled that Mark McCloskey could not have his guns back due to his guilty plea of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault.

Judges James M. Dowd, John P. Torbitzky and Michael S. Wright argued that while the pardon may absolve him of guilt, it does not make him innocent, meaning the state law concerning forfeiture of firearms remains applicable.

Legal commentator Jonathan Turley has been highly critical of the prosecution’s agenda throughout the proceedings.

The judges explained, “While we agree that the pardon restored all of his rights forfeited by the conviction and removed any legal disqualification, disadvantage, or impediment, Missouri law is unequivocal that a gubernatorial pardon obliterates the fact of the conviction, not the fact of guilt. Thus, McCloskey’s guilty plea, for which he obtained the benefit of the State dismissing a felony charge punishable by jail time, survived the pardon and importantly, with respect to the issue at hand in this replevin action, triggered the guns’ forfeiture.”

They added, “Therefore, since McCloskey’s guilt remains, it follows that he is not entitled to the return of the weapons….”

The judges claimed that the impact of the pardon “ends at the obliteration of the conviction.”

They wrote, “The law recognizes the difference between a conviction and guilt. Here, McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and voluntarily forfeited his firearms in exchange for the state dismissing a felony charge punishable by imprisonment. Thus, his inability to recover his firearms is not a legal disqualification, impediment, or other legal disadvantage that is a consequence of his conviction. Rather, the permanent forfeiture is a consequence of his guilt. And because only the conviction is obliterated by the pardon and McCloskey’s guilt remains, we find that the governor’s pardon does not entitle him to possession of his forfeited firearms….”

Turley noted, “If upheld, the decision shows the cost of a plea when an individual is also seeking a pardon. Many had long called for a pardon to be issued, but governors will often wait for the legal system to play out to some degree before intervening. The pardon does not mean that you will be treated as innocent or that your property will be returned.”

Two years ago, WND reported on the case result that left U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., a far-left member of Congress who had taken part in some of the Black Lives Matter marches during the tumultuous summer of 2020 in America, to deliver an impassioned rant regarding a pardon for the McCloskeys. Bush included a warning within her statement.

“His day will come,” Bush said of Mark McCloskey, who with his wife, Patricia, was pardoned by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson for minor gun charges that stemmed from their decision to protect their property when one of those marches brought a crowd to their property, and they didn’t know the intention.

Bush, who was part of the group that marched to the McCloskeys’ property, stated that “his day will come.”

Despite this accusation, none of those involved in the march were charged by Gardner.

However, she did allege that the McCloskeys had been holding weapons.

This prompted an appeals court to remove her from the case due to her attempts at personal gain by using it politically.

The lawyer for the McCloskeys explained that they were armed out of concern for their safety as “demonstrators” had broken down a gate to access their private street and threatened them.

The McCloskeys may have ultimately gotten some satisfaction from this situation, photographs shared online show McCloskey happily displaying his new AR-15 with caption reading “Checking out my new AR! #2A #MOSen”.

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Joe Messina

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