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Gov. Mike Parson addresses the media at the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City in 2019. Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Gov. Mike Parson (R) told Fox News Monday "without a doubt" he would pardon Mark and Patricia McCloskey if they're convicted over pulling guns on anti-racism protesters outside their mansion.

The big picture: St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said earlier Monday she'd charged the couple with felony unlawful use of a weapon over images of their actions, which went viral last month. Parson told Fox host Sean Hannity the charges were "unfortunate" and marked a "sad day" for Missouri.

What he's saying: Parson said he'd "do everything within the constitution" to protect them because they're " law-abiding citizens."

  • "They're being attacked, frankly, by a political process," he said, adding they had "every right" to protect their property.
  • "If you had a mob coming towards you, whether they tore down your gate or not, when they come on your property, they don't have a right to do that in an aggressive manner and people have a right to protect themselves, their family and their property."

Go deeper

Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Virginia man who drove into Black Lives Matter protesters jailed for 6 years

Photo: Henrico County Police

An "admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan" has been sentenced to six years in prison for driving his vehicle into Black Lives Matter protesters in Richmond, Virginia, and faces more charges before a grand jury next month, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The big picture: Harry H. Rogers, 36, of Virginia, received the maximum penalty for "six misdemeanors, including assault, destruction of property and hit-and-run charges" over the June 7 incident after a judge in Henrico County District Court convicted him on Monday, the New York Times notes. The judge ruled the attack was not a hate crime because "the victims were white," WTVR-TV reported. Rogers' three outstanding felony charges are for alleged attempted malicious wounding, AP reports.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.