July 22 (UPI) -- "American Idol" Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery has issued a statement explaining the misdemeanor citation he received for trying to bring a loaded handgun on an airplane last week.
TMZ said the 23-year-old singer was going through a security X-ray checkpoint at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina when the black, 9mm, Smith & Wesson pistol and two boxes of bullets were spotted in the his backpack.
"I have been a concealed carry permit holder for awhile now after being robbed at gunpoint in 2014, and I take gun safety very seriously," McCreery said in a statement to Us Weekly on Saturday. "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 said he had his permit with him at the time of the incident.
"So, once they had checked everything out, they then released me to catch the next available flight," he said. "Great to know our airport security force is on the job. I have learned a lesson that I won't forget."