The missing gun that was lent to former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department has been located — in the property room, the sheriff’s office reported.
The erstwhile missing Beretta 9mm handgun was lent to Valdez on Oct. 3, 2011, after her personal gun “sustained a malfunction,” the sheriff’s office reported on July 13.
An earlier audit was unable to account for the weapon and interim Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown ordered another inventory check in the sheriff’s property room on Monday, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
“After a thorough inventory of every weapon, the missing Beretta 9mm handgun was found,” the news release said.
Information obtained during the check showed that the gun was turned into the property room on Jan. 2, 2018. But the gun wasn’t entered into the inventory at the time, the news released said.
“Sheriff Brown and the Sheriff’s Department offer their sincere apologies to former Sheriff Lupe Valdez for any distress and hardship that was created as a result of the Department’s mistake. The Sheriff’s Department is in the process of reviewing how this oversight occurred and will be taking steps to implement measures to insure this type of incident does not occur again,” the sheriff’s department said in the news release.
In a statement, Valdez thanked the sheriff’s department for its efforts and vigorously defended her actions in the matter saying she has always followed law enforcement protocol.
“This incident further illustrates the importance of gun owner accountability and firearms safety. As I have previously stated, I have been a responsible gun owner for over 40 years. Throughout my law enforcement and military career I have always followed protocol when returning issued property,” Valdez said.
Valdez resigned from her post as Dallas County sheriff on Dec. 31, 2017, and in May became the first openly gay and Latina gubernatorial nominee in Texas to win the Democratic primary.
She will be facing off against current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 6.
The news of her missing gun was a bit of a distraction for Valdez in the past week, but she scoffed at assertions that it would distract voters.
“My opponent considered this a slam dunk, thinking this would distract from his unwillingness to keep our communities safe from gun violence, but I will not be strong armed from keeping him accountable for his failures or be silenced on the need for gun reform,” Valdez said.