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Entertainer's weapon offense, resulting charge instructive

For singer Scotty McCreery, a former winner of American Idol, the recent weapon-related snafu he was involved in had nothing to do with his concealing of a gun without a legal permit to carry.

Although that allegation is what frequently presents problems for individuals in California and nationally who face criminal weapons charges, it was not McCreery's dilemma. Rather, what created an instant problem for the entertainer at an airport recently was his attempt to bring a duly licensed handgun -- which McCreery has a permit for -- through a checkpoint.

Moreover, the gun was loaded.

Predictably, that didn't end well for McCreery, who was criminally cited for seeking to carry the weapon through security.

McCreery was understandably -- and manifestly -- contrite following the incident, saying that he had simply forgotten to remove the gun from a handbag after practicing shooting at a firing range.

The entertainer might reasonably be considered as lucky to have escaped the incident with only a misdemeanor violation for inappropriately carrying a loaded gun in an airport environment, which is a federal crime. Security officials released the singer after confirming his weapon permit.

Arguably, McCreery's bad day is broadly instructive, and for a wide audience, given the legion of handgun owners in California and across the United States.

It certainly underscores that individuals who have taken pains to comply with all legal requirements relevant to handgun ownership and use can sometimes make mistakes through forgetfulness, the overlooking of details and other lapses.

And when they do, the consequences can be material. In McCreery's case, and notwithstanding the singer's avoidance of any time spent behind bars, the entertainer now has a criminal record related to his gun ownership.

In other instances, such as when an individual facing a gun charge has a prior criminal record as a felon or was found to be in possession of an unlicensed weapon, the outcome can be far more dire.

The potential downsides attached to a weapons charge can render it urgently important for an accused wrongdoer to secure timely and aggressive legal help from a proven criminal defense attorney. An experienced advocate can take actions geared toward minimizing the adverse consequences of alleged criminal activity to the fullest extent possible.

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