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23 Jul, 2020 01:33

Inoperable pistol seized from St. Louis couple was fixed to make sure it was ‘ready for lethal use’ to charge McCloskeys – report

Inoperable pistol seized from St. Louis couple was fixed to make sure it was ‘ready for lethal use’ to charge McCloskeys – report

The gun Patricia McCloskey aimed at BLM protesters on a private street was inoperable when seized by police, but a St. Louis prosecutor reportedly had it fixed, deeming it ready for “lethal use,” before charging the couple.

Patricia McCloskey and her husband Mark were charged on felony firearms offenses earlier this week after appearing in a controversial video in June pointing weapons at Black Lives Matter protesters who stormed their gated community. After the couple’s weapons arrived in police custody, however, it was determined one of the guns – the pistol held by Patricia in the video – was inoperable, having been assembled improperly.

“The firearm could not be test fired as submitted,” says a prosecution document obtained by a local NBC affiliate, adding that the weapon “was field stripped and found to have been assembled incorrectly.”

The firing pin spring was placed in front of the firing pin, which was backwards, and will not fire in this condition.

Despite the weapon’s condition when it was seized by police, Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley wrote that it was “readily capable of lethal use” in charging documents filed on Monday, a claim directly at odds with the government’s own account.

Missouri law requires prosecutors to prove a weapon is “readily” usable for deadly force when pursuing the type of charges the McCloskeys now face.

Also on rt.com St. Louis couple charged with illegal use of arms for ‘threatening peaceful protesters’ who crashed their private community

Moreover, after obtaining the handgun and finding it did not work, the prosecutor’s office ordered a crime lab to disassemble the inoperable gun and put it back together in working order, with the document noting “the firearm was reassembled properly, test fired and functioned as designed.”

The McCloskeys – both of whom are lawyers – maintain that the gun in question had been deliberately modified so that they could use it as a courtroom prop during a previous case against a gun manufacturer.

The couple’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, has also stated the gun was in the same condition when Patricia pointed it at protesters outside the McCloskey’s upscale home.

It’s disheartening to learn that a law enforcement agency altered evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community

While St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner declined to comment on the revelation, Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt has requested the case be thrown out, while Governor Mike Parson has vowed to pardon the couple should they be convicted.

Also on rt.com Missouri AG moves to dismiss ‘political’ charges against St. Louis couple who pointed guns at BLM protesters in ‘self-defense’

Some legal experts, the AG included, have argued the McCloskeys should be protected under the state’s Castle Doctrine, which permits home and property owners to wield force against intruders. Though the two residents say they believed their lives were endangered by the demonstrators, prosecutors insist the couple broke the law by threatening “nonviolent” protesters without justification.

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