Scotty McCreery has issued a statement after he was cited for trying to bring a loaded handgun through airport security last week.

The Raleigh News  & Observer reports that the 23-year old American Idol Season 10 winner and country singer was stopped by police at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Raleigh, N.C., at 6PM on July 13 after a TSA scan of his backpack revealed a loaded handgun. Investigators found five 9 mm rounds in the magazine of the Smith & Wesson and two boxes of ammo containing 63 bullets in the backpack. McCreery told police he had visited a firing range before heading to the airport and simply forgot to remove the weapon from his backpack.

McCreery has a concealed permit, but he was cited for a misdemeanor violation for trying to bring the gun through an airport checkpoint and board a plane with it.

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McCreery and a group of friends were robbed at gunpoint in 2014, after which he installed greater security at his home. A suspect in that home invasion pleaded guilty in 2016. McCreery referenced that incident in a statement Friday evening (July 21).

"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," he tells Billboard. "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 rightfully 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."

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