One week ago, TTAG named the Davis County Sheriff’s Office our Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day for losing a M16. (D’oh!) We were particularly captivated by this comment: “Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson said last week it’s only a matter of time before the rifle is found. And anyone who knowingly possesses the rifle will be prosecuted, even if that person is or was a peace officer.” Well, sltrib.com reports that the Sheriff’s found the missing full-auto firearm. And here’s the tough-talking po-po’s statement on the recovered rifle . . .
Sgt. Susan Poulsen confirmed Wednesday that someone turned in the rifle Friday. She declined to say who or whether the person had a relationship to the sheriff’s office.
Poulsen said the return of the rifle has reopened the investigation into its disappearance.
“Right now, it’s administrative,” Poulsen said of the investigation. “We’re not sure [whether a crime has been committed] until it gets a little bit closer” to completion.
A probe last year pointed to a current or former peace officer taking the rifle . . .
Investigators also couldn’t find the mechanism disabling the missing rifle’s automatic fire capability. The mechanisms were removed from the other M-16s in 2006.
Accountability. It’s a thing. Unless you’re a cop. Then, not so much. At least if you work for the Davis County Sheriff’s Office.
UPDATE! Here’s what happened to the gun, allegedly, via standard.net.
It was a Davis County sheriff’s deputy who had the missing fully automatic M-16 rifle, the sheriff said.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, notified his superior, who then notified Sheriff Todd Richardson last Friday, according to a press release.
The deputy is facing disciplinary action, but what that will entail has not yet been determined, said Sgt. Susan Poulsen on Thursday.
News reports about the missing gun sparked the memory of the deputy, who had been deployed to Afghanistan sometime after 2006. The officer, who was a member of the sheriff’s SWAT team and a member of the military, had asked permission to take the M-16 for training purposes for SWAT before he was deployed.
“The employee trained with the rifle, and then put the gun into his gun safe at home at the time of deployment, where it has stayed since 2006,” according to the press release.
The deputy was gone for 18 months, returned home and then went on a second tour in the Middle East. During that time he had not “thought about that rifle since 2006,” according to the press release.
And because of the lack of paperwork and “partially because of human error, the employee never heard about an investigation into a missing M-16 rifle” until he read news stories that were published last week, according to the press release.
The deputy had been employed with the sheriff’s office during the entire period the gun was missing and the gun was never on the streets, according to the release.
“He simply forgot it was there,” according to the release.