Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (center) in 2014.
You would think a top cop would know better, but Lupe Valdez, the Dallas County Sheriff who stepped down to run for governor of Texas, misplaced her department-loaned Beretta 92, according to reports.
The department issued Valdez the handgun in Oct. 3, 2011, when her personal firearm, also a Beretta 92, “sustained a malfunction,” according to the police report obtained by The Dallas Morning News. Law required the former sheriff to return the 9mm handgun before her Dec. 31, 2017, resignation.
Police filed a report because due to the possibility of the gun reaching a criminal’s hands. The report stated, “It is likely that this weapon could have been stolen or misplaced during Sheriff Valdez’s moving transition.”
Raul Reyna, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, said that Valdez is working with the department to locate the pistol. The investigation is ongoing. Investigators have not ruled out that Valdez returned the pistol and it was then lost.
Juan Bautista Dominguez, Valdez’s campaign spokesman, referred only to the sheriff’s department report when contacted for a comment.
“As mentioned in the report, it is possible that this weapon could have been stolen or misplaced during Sheriff Valdez’s moving transition and she is working with the Dallas County Sheriff Department to locate the firearm,” Dominguez wrote in an email.
Background on Lupe Valdez
Valdez was first elected Dallas County Sheriff in 2004. She was the first woman, Hispanic and openly gay person to be a sheriff in Texas. She ran the sheriff’s office for 13 years, before deciding to resign to run for the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas, which she won.
Considered a long shot, if elected, Valdez would become Texas’ first Hispanic and gay governor. She’d also be the Lone Star State’s first Democrat governor since Ann Richards, who occupied the governor’s office from 1991 until 1995.
Lupe Valdez On Guns
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that Valdez’s platform includes calls for stricter gun control. During a discussion with various publications in downtown Austin, Valdez said she’s in favor of concealed carry, but she’s against open carry, as well as campus carry. In addition, she stated her support for stricter background checks; a limit on “high capacity” magazines; and red flag laws, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
After Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled his school safety plan in the wake of the Santa Fe school shooting, Valdez doubled down on her gun control beliefs. In an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle, she wrote, “A vast majority of Texans would tell you there are several common sense steps that we can support right now to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. And all of them are consistent with the Second Amendment.”
First, Valdez’s writes in her op-ed, is the “common-sense” step of enacting universal background checks. In addition, she supports a ban on bump stocks.
“Next, we need to close the foolish loopholes in our gun laws, like the boyfriend-loophole, which allow violent domestic abusers to avoid being identified by background checks simply because they were not married to their victims,” Valdez continued. “We did this in Dallas, and we should do it statewide.”
Valdez also wrote, “We should implement, not simply study, Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, or ‘Red Flag’ laws. Law enforcement and families should be able to flag people who may pose an immediate danger to themselves or others. While maintaining due process, their access to firearms should be temporarily limited.”
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