Comedian Mike Epps has apologized to his fans days after federal agents confiscated a loaded gun from his possession as he attempted to board a flight at the Indianapolis International Airport.
In a video posted to Instagram, Epps said he always carries a weapon with him but wanted to apologize for the “negativity” that surrounded the incident.
“I want to give a shout-out to all my fans out there. I want to apologize if you’re seeing any negativity about a gun charge at an airport,” the 52-year-old actor and comedian said.
In his remarks, Epps said he “forgot” he had the weapon on him following a “long night” in Indianapolis, where he hosted a show the night before at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse with D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer.
LOADED GUN CONFISCATED FROM ‘HANGOVER’ STAR MIKE EPPS AT INDIANA AIRPORT
“I had a long night. I had a show in my hometown and I literally forgot that I had my pistol in my bag,” he said.
Transportation Security Administration officers discovered the Smith & Wesson .38-caliber pistol Sunday morning inside Epps’ backpack, and it was confiscated at the scene.
Epps was not arrested but could face charges.
US AIRPORT SECURITY INTERCEPTS RECORD 6,542 GUNS IN 2022
The Marion County prosecutor’s office is looking into the case, though spokesman Michael Leffler said charges are unlikely.
“These matters rarely result in criminal charges,” Leffler said.
He added, “I think it is important to note that the burden of proof required by statute and case law requires you to prove whether an individual knowingly or intentionally brought the firearm. Generally speaking, the most common circumstance is that firearms located by TSA or airport police are unintentionally left in bags.”
In the Wednesday video, Epps also defended his decision to carry a gun in the first place, saying it was for his own defense. He also encouraged his own supporters to “stay strapped.”
“If you want to know why I carry a gun, I carry money all the time. I be having jewelry on, and these dudes is out here robbing people. So I just want to make sure I make it clear I ain’t out here doing nothing wrong. But I keep a gun on me ’cause I gotta protect myself. Sometimes I ain’t with my security,” he explained.
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The actor (“Upshaws,” “Hangover”) concluded, “Just want to let y’all know that I’m still on some positive vibes. And sorry that it happened. All I can tell you is the world is crazy; stay strapped.”
Epps captioned the video: “Thank you for understanding.”
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Airport officials did not say where Epps was flying to or if he was traveling alone.
Epps is set to make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the film “Madame Web” starring Dakota Johnson, and he will make an appearance in the Apple TV+ series “Lady in the Lake” starring Natalie Portman.
The Associated Press contributed to this report