Scotty McCreery has issued a statement explaining the misdemeanor citation he received for trying to bring a loaded handgun on an airplane last week.

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TMZ said the 23-year-old "American Idol" Season 10 winner 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.

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"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."