The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who landed in legal trouble for pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in their yard back in 2020.
The McCloskeys sought review in the high court of the temporary suspension of their state law licenses in February by the Missouri Supreme Court.
The case involving the couple drew nationwide attention during the 2020 protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The McCloskeys went viral when pictures circulated showing them holding an AR-15 style rifle and a handgun as a group of Black Lives Matter protesters crossed their property.
The couple claimed that the crowd of protesters broke through barriers to enter their private community before entering their property.
Both McCloskeys were charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.
As the result of charges brought against them, the McCloskeys pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges last June. As part of their plea agreement they promised to give up the weapons they possessed at the time of the BLM incident.
Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750 while Particia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000.
During the hearing when the guilty pleas were accepted by the local court, Mark McCloskey acknowledged that his actions put people at risk. He said that the charge that he put persons in imminent fear of physical harm is what he intended to do in protecting his family and his property. He said “that’s what the guns were for.”
The Missouri Supreme Court oversaw a disciplinary action regarding the law licenses of both McCloskeys following the plea agreement. That court found that their actions as admitted in the agreements amounted to “moral turpitude” that deserved sanctions. The suspensions were suspended by the court for one year contingent on successful completion of probation.
The couple submitted a request to the U.S. Supreme Court last month arguing that their actions were protected by the Second Amendment and therefore could not be the legal basis of a finding of “moral turpitude.”
The Supreme Court did not issue any written opinions in conjunction with the order denying the appeal. No dissents from the denial were noted in the order.