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IPFS News Link • Gun Rights

Can the McCloskeys Get Their Guns Back? Judges Pull Trigger on Ruling

•, by Bob Unruh

An appeals court in Missouri has ruled that Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who were targeted by an activist prosecutor for holding guns in their hands while they warned Black Lives Matter rioters to stay off their property, cannot have those guns back.

The background is that, according to legal commentator Jonathan Turley, the situation became a "cause celebre for many on the left and right."

The two were charged by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who later was ordered off the case because of ethical concerns, and Mark McCloskey eventually pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors to end the court case.

Then they were granted a pardon by the governor, and he asked for his guns back.

A ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals said no.

According to Turley, who explained he always was skeptical of Gardner's agenda and charges, Judges James M. Dowd, John P. Torbitzky and Michael S. Wright said the pardon means they are "excised" of guilt but that's not the same as innocent.

They ruled that as McCloskey had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault, he forfeited ownership of the weapons.

They found that means the state law concerning the forfeiture of guns remains.

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."