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County Judge John F. Gonzales Jr. (courtesy

“Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence said his deputies found a constable’s assault rifle that reportedly had been missing for at least a year,” Texas’ reports. Wait. “Reportedly missing”? Don’t they mean had been missing? No! See the thing is, “It was in his department’s weapons room.” You mean, the “assault rifle” had been in police custody all the time? Well not exactly . . .

But [Sheriff] Spence said there was no record of who turned in the M4 rifle or the date when it was placed in the department’s armory.

Policy requires officials to keep records of residents who turn in guns to the department, Spence said.

“It probably slipped through procedures,” Spence said. “Someone evidently brought it in for safekeeping.”

Of course! Safekeeping! That’s what happened. The idea that someone in the police department “borrowed” the rifle without authorization then snuck it back into the police armory when the department made a stink about it is so preposterous I won’t even mention it here. Oops. The “real” story is even more confusing.

Last week, a standard inventory audit led District Attorney Bernard Ammerman to raise questions about the rifle’s whereabouts.

Precinct 1 Constable Albert Oviedo filed a report of the missing rifle in August after searching for the gun since his appointment in January 2014.

Oviedo, who had been Precinct 1’s constable before Martin Nieto was elected in 2012, said he had turned in the rifle to then-County Judge John F. Gonzales Jr.’s [above] office at the end of Nieto’s term in January 2013.

Nieto said Gonzales declined to give him the rifle and a handgun because Nieto was not a certified peace officer.

But Gonzales repeatedly said his office never had possession of the rifle.

Anyway, the rifle’s back in “safe” hands. Any suggestion that a judge illegally appropriated a police-issue M4 rifle, then covered his tracks (with a little help from his friends) is so preposterous I won’t even mention it. D’oh!

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  1. A lot of magical stuff happens in South Texas counties. Usually it involves the dead coming back to life on election day though.

    • Yeah it does. I guess I should watch/read more local news. Happened “in my backyard”, and this is the first I’ve heard about it.

  2. City officials can do all this “loophole” bs, but us taxpayers have to play by the rules or jailhouse for us!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!

  3. If citizens have to go through all the background check bull-crap, shouldn’t police armories have specific procedures as well. For example a check-in, check-out process whereby the person swipes a badge AND has a snapshot of who possesses the weapon?

    Better yet, use an RFID tag in the firearm (fairly easy) and an RFID gate at the entrance/exit to the gun room. Set up an HD camera and, viola, for about $8,000 (the value of 3 good M4’s) you have a solid tracking system.

      • If you are government employee on government time using government issued equipment then I have no problems with that proposal. It’s when they mandate it for private citizens on their own time with their own equipment that I have a problem with it.

  4. I’ve got some… ocean front property in Ar i zo na, From the front porch you can see the sea!.. Now if you’ll buy that I’ll throw the golden gate in free…..La lala la la la…hummmmm

  5. This seems to be happening more and more (guns missing), sounds like it is time to move to electronic tracking of who checks them out.

  6. Last I checked (2014), a registered MG that us normal (sub human) foke can “leagaly” own was $20k. To afford 20k in 3 months is about 80k a year take home. …. That sure beats my 20k, I want your job.

  7. Shazam!

    Case of the missing M-4 carbine solved by no other than Gomer Pyle (with a little help from his friend Captain Marvel ), and no one’s the wiser.

    ‘Isn’t that right, sergeant?’

  8. If a highly efficient government office can’t keep up with the required paperwork, what hope do we mere civilians have in doing so?


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