You’ve probably seen the video by now of a couple in an exclusive, private community near St. Louis holding guns, and actually waving them a protestors. How legal were the actions of both the couple and the protestors?
It turns out the couple, the McCloskey’s, have a lot of Missouri laws on their side. As attorneys –they made the big bucks to afford that house as personal injury attorneys — they probably knew the law well.
The State of Missouri has Stand Your Ground, Castle Doctrine and Open Carry laws.
Stand your ground in Missouri allows you to defend yourself with the use of deadly force if you’re under imminent threat of deadly force, without a duty to retreat in public.
The Castle Doctrine allows residents to use deadly force against intruders based on the notion that your home is “your castle.”
While open carry allows them to as the law says, openly carry their guns, not just on their property but almost any place, except where it’s strictly prohibited, the law doesn’t allow you to aim a gun at someone unless that person is coming towards them or
So, the wife, who is waving her pistol at the protestors could possible be doing something legal unless there is some threat, like someone was coming at them or possible to get in their home.
There is also a law in Missouri says it is illegal to display a gun in an angry or threatening manner.
The McCloskeys told the St. Louis media that they feared for their lives.
As for the protestors, the possible charges against them could be trespassing. The McCloskey’s home is in a gated, private community that hires its own security service. The protestors went through a private gate and onto a private street and were on their way to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson when they were confronted by the McCloskeys.
How Missouri trespassing law applies to “private” streets still isn’t clear. Whether or not to charge them for protesting will probably come down to the prosecutor. “
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said the right to peacefully protest must be protected.
“My office is currently working with the public and police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable,” Gardner said in a statement released to the media.