St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey on Monday, saying they could face an extra charge of fourth-degree assault. They will both be issued summons to appear in court at a later date, officials said.
The couple’s attorney called the charges “disheartening” and maintained that no crime had been committed.
“I, along with my clients, support the First Amendment right of every citizen to have their voice and opinion heard,” attorney Joel Schwartz said in a statement. “This right, however, must be balanced with the Second Amendment and Missouri law, which entitle each of us to protect our home and family from potential threats.”
Under Section 571.030(4) of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, it is a crime when a person “[e]xhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner.” Such a person “commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons,” which is defined as a class E felony. Such felonies carry up to four years in prison, one year in jail, and/or a $10,000 fine–but are subject to probation. [Law & Crime]