MUM Denise Fitzpatrick said she was shocked when her 11-year-old son announced, ‘Guess what I found’ and produced a gun.
Callum Fitzpatrick had been playing with friends in a field at Aghagallon’s Colane Road when he spotted the firearm.
Unaware of the potential danger the primary school boy dandered to his home in Lagan Close with the weapon.
He made the discovery in the Colane Road area on Saturday afternoon not far from the local St Mary’s GAA pitch.
Police recovered the weapon a short time later it was passed on to army bomb experts for examination.
Mrs Fitzpatrick said her son and his friends had been playing in the field when they spotted some golf balls. So they went on the hunt for some more when they discovered the gun.
“It was heavy and it was caked in mud and covered in rust,” she said.
“He put it in a bag and brought it home along with a load of golf balls,” she said.
Mrs Fitzpatrick said she was no expert on guns but thought it may have been an old police gun from the 50s or 60s.
She didn’t think there was any danger as it looked so old but police told her that her son really should not have lifted it.
Mrs Fitzpatrick said it was not worth thinking about what could have happened if the weapon had been in better condition.
She said the gun was in such a bad condition that it probably could not have been fired.
“It was really badly rusted - it was caked in rust. When his daddy came home I showed it to him and he said he’d ring the police,” she said.
“We weren’t concerned about it because it wasn’t in a usable condition but we called them and they took it away.
“Just thank God it was in that kind of condition. To think if he had lifted one in a better condition would have been more scary.”
Joe Nelson said: “On a Saturday and Sunday, we would have up to 100 children in various age groups playing football and practicing football.”
He said it was “very irresponsible” to leave a weapon where it could be found by children.