Skip to main content

Surprise! Mom packed you a nice gun

By Chris Boyette, CNN
updated 5:34 AM EST, Mon January 21, 2013
A 7-year-old boy brought a 22-caliber pistol, a loaded magazine and a flare gun to school in his backpack.
A 7-year-old boy brought a 22-caliber pistol, a loaded magazine and a flare gun to school in his backpack.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New York police say a Queens mom put guns in her son's school backpack
  • She says she forgot to take them out before school
  • The discovery of the guns caused a lockdown
  • Now the mom is facing charges and two of her sons are in protective custody

New York (CNN) -- Things a 7-year-old boy expects Mom to put in his backpack: A peanut butter sandwich. Pencils. Maybe even a nice note with a little heart scrawled on it.

Things he doesn't: a flare gun, a .22-caliber pistol, a loaded magazine and, for good measure, 14 more bullets in a plastic bag.

But that's exactly what a second-grader had inside his Batman backpack Thursday morning when he arrived at Wave Preparatory Elementary School in Far Rockaway in Queens, Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said Friday.

3 injured after shotgun accidentally fires at N.C. gun show

Accidental shooting at NC gun show
Will Obama's legacy be gun legislation?

The mom, Deborah Farley, 53, told police she had been, according to Browne, "out walking the streets of Queens late Wednesday night" with the guns in her son's backpack and she forgot to take them out.

She rushed back to school after dropping him off Thursday and asked the boy what he'd done with the gun, Browne said.

When the boy told her he'd handed it over to a classmate, she finally came clean to administrators, who put the school on lockdown and called police.

As it turns out, the boy had given away the flare gun, but police found the pistol, the loaded magazine and the bag of bullets still in his bag, according to Browne.

Nobody was hurt, but police arrested Farley on Friday on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a firearm. The pistol was unlicensed, Browne said.

A search of the woman's home found more ammunition and seven plastic bags of marijuana, Browne said.

Child protective workers took the boy and his 9-year-old brother into custody, he said.

Newspaper removes controversial online database of gun permit holders

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law Wednesday that has critics howling and proponents applauding.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Thu June 13, 2013
Six months after a gunman burst into a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school and slaughtered 20 children and killed six others, promises of stricter national gun control laws remain largely unfulfilled.
updated 7:20 AM EDT, Sat June 8, 2013
The sign at the door of the Colt factory displays a gun with a slash through it: "No loaded or unauthorized firearms beyond this point." Understandable for workers at a plant, but also a bit ironic, considering one of the largest arsenals in America lies just beyond.
updated 7:18 AM EDT, Sat June 8, 2013
Much attention has been paid to the defeat in Congress of proposals to ban assault weapons and expand background checks for firearm purchases.
updated 9:04 AM EDT, Sat June 29, 2013
Morgan Spurlock's "Inside Man" gives CNN viewers an inside and in-depth look at the issue of firearms -- as viewed from behind the counter of a gun store. Here are five things to know about the debate.
updated 11:02 AM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
The Senate defeated a compromise plan to expand background checks on firearms sales as well as a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons.
updated 8:03 PM EDT, Thu April 11, 2013
As Congress grapples with major gun control legislation proposals, brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and children write about the people they loved and lost to gun violence and how it changed their lives.
updated 8:45 AM EDT, Thu April 11, 2013
Hear from both sides of the gun debate as opinions clash.
updated 1:44 PM EDT, Wed May 1, 2013
It was a bit awkward the first time Kate Daggett asked the question.
updated 9:41 AM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013
Many Americans and lawmakers are in favor of continuing or expanding background checks on gun purchases, but few understand how the checks work.
updated 3:35 PM EDT, Thu April 4, 2013
Still stinging from the shooting deaths at Sandy Hook, Connecticut lawmakers approved what advocacy groups call the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation.
updated 9:53 AM EDT, Fri March 29, 2013
It took fewer than five minutes for Adam Lanza to squeeze off 154 rounds, upending life in Newtown, Connecticut, and triggering a renewed national debate over gun control.
Who should get them? Join the gun control debate and share your perspective on CNN iReport.
updated 11:24 AM EDT, Tue April 2, 2013
Before having children, she was a firm believer that guns were dangerous. Now this mother of three has a different perspective.
updated 6:54 PM EDT, Tue March 19, 2013
In the biggest fight over firearms since December's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, gun-control advocates are poised to notch a victory in an unlikely place.
A former drug addict turned anti-violence crusader, and a man who lost his father in a temple shooting. These are just two of many in the conversation.
updated 1:22 PM EST, Fri February 1, 2013
At a town hall that brought all sides of the gun debate together, was there a consensus? Sort of.
updated 10:51 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
The federal background check system for gun buyers didn't stop a mentally ill man from buying a gun, which he used to kill his mother.
updated 7:37 PM EST, Thu January 31, 2013
In disputes over the future of gun laws, people espousing different positions often literally don't understand each other.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT