State Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Anita Tallarico told Albuquerque Sunport police that she forgot to leave the weapon at home when TSA agents spotted it in her purse in a scanner Friday.
A local television station reports that Tallarico told TSA officials she was distraught because she was going to a funeral. She was cited for unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon.
Airport police chief Marshall Katz says he's not sure how a person of Tallarico's position could make such a slip-up, but added that it happens frequently nationwide.
Tallarico's gun was turned over to city police as evidence.