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Mom arrested after 7-year-old boy brings loaded gun to NYC school, police say

Police said a 7-year-old boy in Queens, N.Y., brought this .22 caliber handgun (above left) to school on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. Authorities also recovered a flare gun (right) at the scene. Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, NYPD

(CBS/WCBS) NEW YORK - The mother of a 7-year-old New York City boy who police say brought a .22 caliber handgun to his school in Queens on Thursday has been arrested.

Deborah Farley, 53, was arrested Friday on criminal possession of a weapon, endangering the welfare of a child and other charges, CBS New York reports.

The Department of Education says Wave Preparatory Academy in Far Rockaway was placed on lockdown after the gun was found in the boy's backpack Thursday.

According to CBS New York, police say Farley told them she was out with the handgun, ammunition and a flare gun in her son's backpack but forgot to take them out before the boy left for school Thursday morning.

After realizing her mistake, the mother of four went the school around 9:30 a.m. and took the 7-year-old out of classes, claiming he had a dental appointment, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. But when she searched the boy's bag, she was unable to find the handgun.

When Farley asked her son where the weapon was, he reportedly thought she was referring to the flare gun and told her he had given it to a friend. He was apparently unaware there was also a handgun in his bag.

Farley alerted the principal who notified police, CBS New York reports.

When the backpack was searched, Browne says, a Phoenix Arms .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a magazine with 10 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and 14 additional rounds in a plastic bag were found inside. The unloaded flare gun was found in another boy's bag.

Police reportedly say the handgun was unlicensed and that while searching Farley's home, investigators also found seven Ziplock bags of marijuana.

According to CBS New York, Farley's two youngest children, the 7 and 9-year-old, were removed from the home and placed into protective child services, Browne said. Her two older children are both adults.

More on CrimesiderJanuary 17, 2013 - Seven-year-old brought loaded gun to NYC school, police say