Scotty McCreery says he's 'learned a lesson' following citation for carrying loaded gun at airport


Scotty McCreery was cited for a misdemeanor violation for attempting to carry a loaded gun through an airport security checkpoint, authorities told Raleigh's News & Observer. The incident occurred at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina on July 13.

The country singer, who was 2011's (season 10) American Idol winner, was stopped at 6 p.m. local time when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee saw the weapon in McCreery's backpack on an X-ray screen. An incident report said police found a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun loaded with five rounds, as well as two boxes of ammo containing 63 bullets.

McCreery told police he'd been at a firing range prior to going to the airport and had forgotten to remove the weapon. Though he has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, he was cited for trying to bring the gun through the TSA checkpoint and board a plane with it.

See photos of Scotty McCreery:

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Scotty McCreery out and about
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Scotty McCreery out and about
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: Scotty McCreery performs on Fox & Friends' All-American Summer Concert Series on June 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 28: Country music artist Scotty McCreery performs at PBS' 2017 National Memorial Day Concert at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn on May 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 27: Country music artist Scotty McCreery poses for a photo at PBS' 2017 National Memorial Day Concert - Rehearsals at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn on May 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 26: Singers/Songwriters Scotty McCreery and Olivia Lane attend 2017 CMA Music Teachers Of Excellence Dinner at Nissan Stadium on April 26, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 24: Singer Scotty McCreery attends the Best Cellars Wine Dinner hosted by T.J. Martell Foundation on April 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for T.J. Martell)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 02: Singer Scotty McCreery arrives at the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage for Fashion Media )
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 02: Singer Scotty McCreery attends the ACM Awards official after party at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/ACMA2017/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 01: Singer-songwriter Scotty McCreery speaks during the ACM Lifting Lives Golf Classic at TPC Las Vegas on April 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/ACMA2017/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 31: Scotty McCreery is seen arriving at the 52nd Academy Of Country Music Awards Cumulus/Westwood One Radio Remotes at T-Mobile Arena on March 31, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 07: Singer/Songwriter Scotty McCreery rehearsais for 1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis on February 7, 2017 at SoundCheck in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Randy Travis Tribute)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 4: American Idol start Scotty McCreery performs at a New England Patriots rally in downtown Houston the day before Super Bowl LI, Feb. 4, 2017. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Singer Scotty McCreery arrives at the 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 02: Singer Scotty McCreery attends the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 01: Scotty McCreery attends the 64th Annual BMI Country awards on November 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 01: Gabi Dugal and Scotty McCreery attend the Folds of Honor/CMS Nashville Songwriter of the Year Party during the 50th annual CMA Awards week on November 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMS)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Singer Scotty McCreery attends the 26th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game at First Tennessee Park on June 7, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for City Of Hope )
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 09: Scotty McCreery performs on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage on June 9, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 06: Scotty McCreery performs at Wildhorse Saloon on June 6, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/FilmMagic)
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Friday evening (July 21), McCreery released the following statement to Billboard: "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. 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."

In 2016, the suspect in McCreery's home invasion pleaded guilty. Following the incident, he told the News & Observer that he had a "higher level of alert" and had an enhanced security system installed in his home.

See all of the "American Idol" winners:

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American Idol Winners
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American Idol Winners

Kelly Clarkson

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Ruben Studdard

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Fantasia Barrino

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David Cook

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Kris Allen

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Lee DeWyze

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Scotty McCreery

(Photo via Getty Images)

Phillip Phillips

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Candice Glover

(Photo via Getty Images)

Caleb Johnson

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage via Getty Images)

Nick Fradiani

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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