ATLANTA — Rock guitarist Rick Derringer carried a loaded gun in his carry-on bag on a Delta Air Lines flight from Cancun, Mexico, but was stopped after landing in Atlanta and now faces a criminal charge, authorities said.

Derringer told a federal air marshal that he flies 30 to 50 times per year with the gun in his carry-on bag, and has never had a problem, a court affidavit states.

Days earlier, the musician had also managed to pass through security with the gun at a Florida airport on his way to Mexico, the court records say. And an airport official in Mexico told The Associated Press Friday that authorities must investigate what happened at the Cancun airport.

“Derringer explained that he was aware that his pistol was in his carry-on bag but he thought that it was acceptable to carry a pistol on an airplane,” according to the criminal complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

He was charged this week with unlawfully entering the Atlanta airport’s secure area Jan. 9.

The Kel-Tec pistol with six rounds of ammunition was found during a search of Derringer’s tan bag after his flight had landed in Atlanta authorities said. Since he had arrived on an international flight, he was being re-checked by security in order to continue on to Sarasota when the weapon was found.