Missing M-16 Found In Deputy’s Home After 8 Years
DAVIS COUNTY, UT—A Federal Audit was recently conducted, as per the terms to The Department of Defense Excess Property Program, and the Davis County Sheriff’s Office was missing an M-16 that they were given in 1998. In that year, Davis County was given 20 of these rifles. According to a sheriff’s spokesperson, the rifles had been kept in storage until 2006 when they were used in training exercises.
According to KSL, a deputy checked one of the M16s out for training exercises with the county SWAT team. The deputy in question (he has not been named as of yet) kept the rifle in his personal gun safe while he had it in his possession. That same year in which he checked the rifle out (2006), he was also deployed to Afghanistan with his reserve unit. His first tour was 1 ½ years long and he came home and was deployed a second time within a few months of his return. He has been home for several years now.
According to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office, “During the investigation, partially because there was a lack of paperwork and partially because of human error, the employee never heard about an investigation into a missing M-16 rifle. It wasn’t until he was reading in the newspapers that DCSO had a missing assault rifle that his memory was sparked, he went to his gun safe to check, then made the call to his superior.” The statement continued, “His employment never ceased and the gun was never on the streets being used for criminal purposes. He simply forgot it was there.”
The Sheriff’s office had no idea that this M-16 was missing until the 2013 federal audit.
The question is, should the deputy be punished, or was this an honest mistake?