Bass in case - mistaken for a rifle?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Rayjay, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Rayjay

    Rayjay If that’s even my real name.. Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    Once I had to take my bass into work so I could leave for a gig afterwards - a fairly new job so I wasn't too tight with anyone yet. One guy saw my hard case and I was walking towards him to say good morning - his eyes got huge and asked me if I was carrying a huge gun!! Genuine concern too. This was pre 9-11 but as I recall post "going postal."

    No one has ever asked me that again, but I am now more aware of people's slight look of panic when I load into a venue carrying my case, every once in a while I can tell they think it's an assault rifle in molded case!!

    Anyone else ever get this?
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses

    This is a story I've told more than once, so I'll do my best to keep it short.

    Airport. Don't remember where I was traveling to, but think it was overseas. I go to check my bass, yeah I'm nuts like that sometimes. Woman asks me whats in the case. I said, "A bass guitar". She says, sorry but we're going to have to check that out. I had the case taped up, mind you. She puts it in a small room behind her, and I have to wait a while for some official looking dude to come assist in checking it out. They take me into the room, open up the case, and the woman says, "It's a guitar????" I'm dumbfounded, and say, "Yes. That's what I told you." She laughs and says, "I thought you said it was a rifle."

    The end.
    Rio Haride, vegas532, Winoman and 8 others like this.
  3. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Too funny! I always would get asked if I was carrying a firearm. My usual reply was "(make/brand/style), wanna see it?! :woot:"

    I usually got an uninterested "no, thanks".
  4. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    Seen lots of Steinbergers in rifle cases. I can see where that's confusing.
    But regular bass guitar hard shell?
    Some people really need to get out more. Rifles aren't that shape.
    pacojas, staurosjohn and gebass6 like this.
  5. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    A lot of them are rectangular-shaped, and that's what sets off the "terror" alert. I rarely see molded HSC inspections.
    FlatwoundFunk likes this.
  6. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    Yes. Thin rectangles.
    Not big wide fat ones.
    Clark Dark and SirMjac28 like this.
  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    My little violin bass came in a camo rifle case, that's the only case I have for it. Really, I'm not that kinda guy! :)
  8. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    Round these parts no one would care either way
  9. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I'm actually on the hunt (no pun intended) for a cheap rifle or shotgun case for my travel bass. I'm sure it will get a few looks of concern.

    A friend of mine who travels all over Europe and the USA to play once got asked what was in her case around 10 years ago. Now, this is an acoustic guitar case, so it's shaped like a guitar. Couldn't really be mistaken for anything else. My friend, who had been having a pretty frustrating time on that particular trip, without thinking through the consequences said "it's a guitar shaped bomb" very sarcastically. BAD MOVE!. She then spent a few hours answering questions and missed her flight. Managed to write a pretty cool song about it so it wasn't a complete waste of time.:laugh:
    Need Gigs and S-Bigbottom like this.
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Yep. Traveling this holiday through LAX with my Hohner B2B Steinberger clone and have received LOTS of scrutiny from airport police. Can't blame them. Scarey times.
  11. BassGuyFL

    BassGuyFL Formerly known as RichardCranium

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    A couple of years ago I was traveling through the Minneapolis airport and had my bass on my back in a gig bag and a couple of guys asked me what kind of rifle I had. I went uhh it's not a rifle it's a bass guitar why would you ask that and then go well it's hunting season we were just curious.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  12. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

  13. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    The proper reply to "Do you have any weapons?" Is "What do you need?" :)
  14. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Blame the prohibition era mobsters depicted in the old black and white movies. They were known to cary their tommy guns in violin cases.

    "We're uh... Musicians. Yeah, that's it. Musicians."

    pacojas, Winoman, kcole4001 and 7 others like this.
  15. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Desperado carried weapon(s) in his acoustic case:

  16. hdfixer

    hdfixer Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bend OR
    I walked into my Silicon Valley hi-rise office one morning a few years ago with my Steinie in a Cabela's camo rifle case and the security guard jokingly stopped me exclaiming: "Noooo! Not on my shift!!!" Fortunately he was used to seeing me with a bass case/gig bag in hand a few days a week (I hate leaving gear in cars after too many thefts) and knew what I was up to!
  17. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    Do a search, but you'll find some tactical/AR cases that are very close in dimensions to guitar cases and even a few that are close to bass size. Either way, aside from a few worried bystanders it doesn't really matter, because with some exceptions there's nothing illegal about a rifle in a case, much less a bass.
    Tbone76, Anachronism and mbelue like this.
  18. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    I bought a used bass that was in a rifle case. I don't travel to the airport with it but I use it to transport both my bass or my rifles. Win-win!
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    If I could only own 36 basses what would they be?

    Bass gig bags are the right size to carry an AR-15 or a shotgun
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    If I could only own 36 basses what would they be?

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