Country singer and “American Idol” Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery has been cited after he carried a loaded handgun with him at a North Carolina airport earlier this month, authorities said.
Authorities said they found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun in McCreery’s backpack at a security checkpoint on July 13 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The singer told authorities that he had been at a firing range and forgot to take the gun out. He was flying from his native North Carolina to Nashville, Tenn.
McCreery, 23, had a valid concealed carry permit with him, authorities said. He was cited for a misdemeanor concealed weapon permit violation and released.
“I have been a concealed carry permit holder for a while now after being robbed at gunpoint in 2014 and I take gun safety very seriously,” McCreery told People. “While in-between tour dates last week, I went to go target shooting with a friend a few days before an early flight out of my hometown Raleigh-Durham airport.”
“Unfortunately, I did not realize that I left my pistol in my backpack until the TSA found it during the security X-ray screening and rightly confiscated it,” McCreery continued. “I had my concealed carry permit on me so once they had checked everything out, they then released me to catch the next available flight. Great to know our airport security force is on the job. I have learned a lesson that I won’t forget.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.