Authorities in North Carolina have cited Scotty McCreery for a misdemeanor violation for attempting to carry a loaded gun through a passenger checkpoint at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
The incident occurred July 13 and was first reported Friday (July 21) by The News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The 23-year-old singer told police he had gone to a firing range before arriving at the airport and forgot to remove the weapon from his backpack. In addition to the loaded 9 mm Smith and Wesson handgun, an X-ray screen by a Transportation Security Administration employee resulted in the discovery of two boxes of ammunition that contained 63 bullets.
“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,” the Garner, North Carolina, native said in a statement to People magazine. “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. 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.”
In 2014, McCreery was attending North Carolina State University in 2014 when he and three friends were robbed at gunpoint by three men who entered an apartment near the school’s campus.