Appearing in the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, the McCloskeys were indicted on separate charges of exhibiting guns at the June 28 protest and tampering with a weapon. At the time, the pair pointed their firearms against St. Louis demonstrators who were marching toward the home of Democratic Mayor Lyda Krewson.
“What you’re witnessing here in this case is just an opportunity for the government, the leftist, Democrat government of the city of St. Louis to persecute us for doing no more than exercising our Second Amendment rights. Every single human being who was in front of my house was a criminal trespasser,” Mark McCloskey said following the hearing, as reported by Kansas City’s Fox 4.
The couple told authorities that protesters broke the iron gate that leads to Portland Place, a private street. They have maintained that the demonstrators forced open the gate at their home prior to the recording of now-viral footage of the confrontation.
Protesters have said otherwise.
“To be very clear, the gate was open. When we came off Kingshighway, the gate was open. As soon as protesters came through the open gate, the man and woman came out of their home. He came out first and was on the balcony,” said ExpectUs organizer Reverend Darryl Gray during a June 29 interview with local St. Louis outlet KSDK.
“We could see the rifle, people began to shout, ‘He has a gun!’ People continued through the gate,” Gray said.
“For them to come out there with their guns drawn, there was absolutely no reason at all,” he added.
Though no shots were fired, the McCloskeys have claimed that they feared for their lives, and two weapons, a semi-automatic .223-caliber rifle and another firearm, have been confiscated from their possession by police.
The couple recently appeared in a pre-taped address at the Republican National Convention, arguing that they were charged with felonies for defending their home, while “not a single person in the out-of-control mob you saw at our house was charged with a crime.”
The hearing for the McCloskeys’ case has been postponed until October 14.