In an interview with Newsmax TV’s Greg Kelly on Tuesday, Mark and Patricia McCloskey discussed the felony charges leveled against them by local prosecutor Kim Gardner, who claims that, in spite of state law recognizing their right to arm up in defense of threats, St. Louis law prohibits residents from ‘standing their ground’ with firearms.
Near the beginning of the interview (around the :51 second mark), Kelly makes a comment about the small handgun that Patricia McCloskey wielded “looked more like a cigarette lighter” and that he had heard “it wasn’t a real gun.”
In response, she began by noting she wasn’t sure how much she could actually say about the weapon — probably on the advice of the couple’s attorney. But then Mark jumps in and says:
I’ll say it this way…it was, in fact, once a real gun, but it was not operational at the time.
According to local NBC affiliate KSDK, Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley said in a charging document that the handgun was “readily capable of lethal use,” which, of course, is completely at odds with what Mark McCloskey told Newsmax TV.
So — who’s right? It sounds like the McCloskeys are. (Related: St. Louis home defender: The media is siding with the ‘Marxist’ BLM ‘mob’.)
The gun Patricia McCloskey waved at protesters was inoperable when it arrived at the St. Louis police crime lab, but a member of Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's staff ordered crime lab experts to disassemble and reassemble it and wrote that it was “readily capable of lethal use” in charging documents filed Monday, 5 On Your Side has learned.
In the state of Missouri, the station noted, police and prosecutors have to prove that a firearm is “readily” capable of inflicting lethality when it is used in association with the type of crime that the McCloskeys were charged with.
According to the report, Hinckley ordered members of the crime lab staff to field-strip the handgun. When they did, they found that it had been wrongly assembled.
“Specifically,” KSDK reported, “the firing pin spring was put in front of the firing pin, which was backward, and made the gun incapable of firing,” according to documents the station obtained.
The documents noted further that firearms experts then reassembled the gun correctly and tested it; when they did, it fired properly.
The evidence documents note that crime lab staff took pictures of the disassembling and reassembly of the handgun.
The station noted that the McCloskeys have said previously (even before the Newsmax TV interview) that the weapon wasn’t functional because they once used it as a prop during a lawsuit they filed once against a gun maker. They made the weapon inoperable so they could legally bring it into court.
Joel Schwartz, the couple’s attorney, told the station that their clients intentionally put the firing pin in backwards so they could make it inoperable. Furthermore, he said that the weapon remained in its inoperable state on the evening it was used to ward off the BLM crowd, which had broken through a gate and onto private property.
“It’s disheartening to learn that a law enforcement agency altered evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community,” Schwartz told KSDK.
There’s more. Police did not make any reference to the gun’s operating condition in their probable cause statement. The only reference to its functionality is contained in the charging document signed by Hinckley.
Gov. Mike Parsons, a Republican, has indicated he would pardon the McCloskeys if they are convicted. Now that a key piece of evidence has apparently been tampered with by the lawless prosecutors, he may not have to bother.