When a couple in Missouri brandished firearms against protesters marching past their property in June, St. Louis County prosecutor Kim Gardner moved to press charges against the two gun owners.
The move was widely denounced by Republicans, including 17 GOP members of the U.S. House of Representatives who penned a letter to Attorney General William Barr seeking an investigation into Gardner, as reported by the Daily Caller.
“Investigate rogue prosecutors”
One of the signers, Rep. Jody Arrington of Texas, addressed the issue in a tweet on Friday that included a link to the full letter.
Today, 16 of my colleagues joined me in writing a letter urging @TheJusticeDept & AG Barr to protect our 2nd amendment rights & to investigate rogue prosecutors who target innocent Americans as part of their antigun, not anticrime, agenda.
— Rep. Arrington (@RepArrington) August 7, 2020
As for the couple, identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the prosecutor’s office filed felony charges. The defendants claim they exited the home with their guns to confront protesters who broke through a gate to enter the private community.
Although no shots were fired, Gardner’s office also confiscated their firearms.
Arrington reacted to the situation in remarks to the Daily Caller, calling Gardner the “poster child of rogue prosecutors” and noting that in many cases, local officials and police were failing to perform their duty to protect people against often violent demonstrations.
“Local leaders hamstring the police”
“The streets of our cities are on fire and innocent people are being murdered,” the congressman said. “If people think this is ‘bass ackwards,’ as we say in Texas, wait until we have the scenario where we have a Democrat Congress and president.”
Calling it an “abuse of power” and “a reckless assault on all citizens’ right to bear arms,” Arrington went on to describe what he perceives as a systemic issue.
“When local leaders hamstring the police and local prosecutors will not prosecute the criminals, you get the twin towers of evil,” he said.
Further strengthening the case of Gardner’s critics is Missouri’s “castle doctrine,” which allows citizens to take actions in protecting their property that arguably go beyond what the McCloskeys did in carrying their weapons outside.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson said he would pardon the couple if a trial ends with a conviction. While that is good news for the McCloskeys, many Second Amendment advocates are nonetheless outraged on their behalf that the situation ever escalated to this level.