RDU (WTVD) -- On Thursday, July 13, Garner native and country music star Scotty McCreery was stopped by RDU police after he was found to be in possession of a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun and ammunition.
The singer says he learned a valuable lesson. And explained to ABC11 why he carries a handgun.
The items were spotted in the singer's backpack by X-ray machines at the airport.
In a report released by RDU Police to ABC11, McCreery stated that he had gone to the shooting range earlier in the day and forgot to remove the loaded weapon and rounds from his backpack before entering the airport.
"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 Friday in a statement to ABC11. "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," the singer added.
He was cited with a CCW Permit Violation and released.
McCreery came to fame after winning the 10th season of "American Idol" in 2011. He has gone on to a successful career in country music winning numerous awards and performing while attending NC State University.
McCreery was scheduled to perform in Biloxi, Miss. on Friday evening.
McCreery has a court date pending for the citation.