Oops. American Idol season 10 winner Scotty McCreery was cited last week for trying to carry a loaded gun through a passenger checkpoint at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, authorities reported, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
McCreery, 23, told RDU police that he had gone to a firing range before arriving at the airport and forgot to remove the weapon – a black, 9 mm, Smith and Wesson handgun – from his backpack. Investigators found five 9 mm rounds in the handgun’s magazine and two boxes of ammo that contained 63 bullets in the backpack, according to an incident report made public by RDU police.
McCreery has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but he was cited for a misdemeanor violation when he tried to bring the firearm through an airport checkpoint and board a plane with it, authorities reported.
Police stopped the country singer on July 13 at 6 p.m. after the weapon was viewed on an X-ray screen by a Transportation Security Administration employee. The handgun was inside the middle compartment of McCreery’s backpack, the TSA employee reported.
The News & Observer reminded readers that it was last summer, when a man, Mikkail Jamal Shaw, was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison for a 2014 home invasion that left the singer “staring down the barrel of a pistol.”
After that robbery, Scotty improved the security on his home and developed a “higher level of alert” generally.
For instance, his tour bus is pretty well secured. “My bus would not be the bus to rob,” he told the News & Observer in a 2014 interview. “I’ve got guys that are always equipped to make stuff happen. And one of the guys is like a black belt in every martial arts you can think of.”
UPDATE: Scotty released a statement to the press.
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. 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,” Scotty said in a statement to E! News. “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.” 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.