What would you say if asked?


March 17, 2005, 01:03 AM
Here's the scenario:

You live in an apartment complex and you're on your way to the range. You might pass by some of your neighbors or their kids while walking to your car with your rifle or shotgun in its case, which is obviously a gun case.

One of the kids is a precocious 7-8 year old girl, and she asks you what's in the case. You don't want to be rude, but you don't want to alarm anyone, either. What would you say if asked? What if it was one of the adults?

Cheers in advance to the best answers.

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March 17, 2005, 01:16 AM
Depends upon the neighborhood ofcourse and if you know the childs parents ofcourse. If i were in a neighborhood where I beleved my guns could possibly be stolen i would tell no one what it was unless i trusted them, even better its good to not have any one see you with it if at all possible if you dont trust your neighborhood. On the otherhand i have lived at my residence all my life and know all of my neighbors fairly well so I dont mind, carrying my firearms with or with out a case to my car. However if I were suspious of any one around I would back up my car to my drive way and reduce the ablity of allowing them to see what I got.

If a unsuspicous kid asked, I would tell them it is a AR-15 or a rifle and I would let them know I was going to the range. I would only explain my self this way to a little kid though any one else I wouldnt tell them jack, how ever kids can have parents that sent them to ask such questions, so beware at your discresion. I have taught hundred's of kids how to shoot, threw nra classes and if they seemed intrested i would offer to teach them if it was okay with there folks, and toss them a card and have the parents give me a call if they were intrested in discussing the class.

All in all the responce would truely depend upon the eviornment.

March 17, 2005, 01:24 AM
"home protection device".

March 17, 2005, 01:29 AM
ive been asked that and i replied just tools. glad they didnt ask why i was carrying hearing protection.

March 17, 2005, 01:34 AM
Whats a gun case? :)

March 17, 2005, 02:01 AM
Office equipment,It's a special type of paper punch :D

M2 Carbine
March 17, 2005, 02:08 AM
What would you say if asked?


chris in va
March 17, 2005, 02:16 AM
My friend has two kids. She said tell them the truth.

When asked say, "They're rifles. I'm going target shooting."

If kids come up and ask you, they're probably open minded enough to think that's pretty darn cool.

March 17, 2005, 02:53 AM
It's a special type of paper punch :D
Add 1 vote for this answer. :D

Seriously, having lived in a # of Apt Complexes, I did not adverstise having Guns at All. Too many folks have access with Master Keys to Apts. Exterminators and everyone else have walked in without knocking on folks during the day. Folks work Graveyard / Sleep during the day and get -"surprised".

One never knows what someone hears will be repeated to illegal ears.

What is a gun case I can concur with as well. I used backpacks for handguns, being an older returning student - they just figured I was headed to class . I also use the Baseball Bat carriers , to transport shotguns/ longuns.

Folks figured this old fart might be doing batting practice - or "I might have" mentioned I had a neice that played "ball" - "Uncle must be helping with practice.

NO gun stickers on vehicle, no gun stuff laying around apt. I don't own camo, and refuse to own and wear it. Baseball bat and ball was in the open. Books and College stuff about the place.

I know a lady that totes her own folding chair , in its carry bag for kids soccer games, the yellow one fires .223, the blue is a .22lr, she sits in a green one.

I had too seen folks "advertise" too many things and get robbed. I had customers that couldn't figure how they got hit. A Bull-horn and Spot light would have drqwn LESS attention than the way they carried themselves.

I believe in being honest with kids.

Times have changed. Kids are sometimes used to gain information. One really has to think outside the box and really know / trust folks before they start blabbing.

What guns? I'm an older guy taking College Classses <adjusts backpack> , Wish I could get caught up and the weather would cooperate - I need to hit a few grounders to my neice...

March 17, 2005, 03:08 AM
"A trombone, I'm taking lessons."

March 17, 2005, 07:48 AM
"Stuff I'm working on"

March 17, 2005, 08:22 AM
To Quote a marine from the 60's............"Curtain Rods"
Any old timers remember who said this?

March 17, 2005, 09:08 AM
It's a metal fire stick to perforates wood-based products.

Zach S
March 17, 2005, 09:09 AM

"Whats that?"
"A ram."
"Ram? Whats that?"
"A hydrolic ram. Its used for lifting, pushing, bending, that sort of stuff."
"What are they used in?"
"Ever been in a shop that fixes cars?"
"Well, there are two to four of these in the lift they put the cars on. Another in the bender for exhasut pipes, if its a body shop they use them for frame straightening, fabrication shops use them in brake presses. A brake press is-"
"I think Mama just hollered for me, I gotta go!"

Give them details, sound like a teacher, they'll probably lose interest;)

March 17, 2005, 09:17 AM
a musical instument,tools,fishing equipment.

sooner or later a small kid will tell another small kid and so on till it is overheard by a adult and maybe the story they tell wont be anywhere near what they saw..hopefully not one to someone thats interested in what else you have at home-be they a sheeple, deviant or someone that could care less.youre setting yourself up if you dont know who your neighbors are

We have a state trooper living across the street and a corrections officer living in another home nearby.I have met them and havent run into any problems,they are nice folks.its a good idea to know who your neighbors are.

March 17, 2005, 09:34 AM
When I lived in an apartment, I stored my FN LAR in a small safe, broken down. I transported it, still broken down, in as short a duffel bag as possible, specifically because I didn't want to have that question asked.

If it were asked anyway, I probably would have said something like, "A small elephant. A rather skinny one. I'm taking him to the vet. He's not feeling well." Obviously, if she asked to see him, I would have to explain that he was sleeping, and I didn't want to wake him up. If she accused me of kidding, I would admit that I was, that it was really a giraffe, not an elephant.

Although I would like to stand up straight and advertise, and do when I am not advertising my address as well, I basically follow what sm said above.

Sam Adams
March 17, 2005, 12:13 PM
To Quote a marine from the 60's............"Curtain Rods"
Any old timers remember who said this?

Lee Harvey Oswald. But, at just about 44, I don't think that I qualify as an old timer (except maybe to those who were peeing in their diapers when I was in college).

March 17, 2005, 12:49 PM
i'm kind of surprised at some of the answers. why not just tell the kid the truth? what good does lying to them do? why not just let them know that its a rifle, you're going target shooting, hunting, whatever and let them know that this is a normal thing that normal people do? maybe tell them to ask their parents if they'd like to go shooting with the kid and you someday. being Secret-Squirrel about it just keeps the kid in the dark. take the opportunity to explain what a nice relaxing hobby shooting can be.

now i can see if you live in certain areas why you wouldn't want to tell a kid if you think their parents or friends might use that information to break into your place and rob you blind, but if you think the risk of something like that is minimal, jump on the chance to educate a kid and normalize firearms for them. of course, all this assumes that you remain within the laws of brandishing/displaying firearms and such.

just my opinion.


March 17, 2005, 12:59 PM
I carry my revolver out to my truck in my range bag. So far no one has asked me what it is. If they do, I'll tell them it's a gun. I'm not doing anything illegal, or immoral, and I won't be one of the people who feeds the gun paranoia.

March 17, 2005, 01:09 PM
Machine parts. It's a machine, and it has parts.

I don't like advertising that I own a weapon.

Ohen Cepel
March 17, 2005, 01:21 PM
I have a soft guitar case just for that purpose.
Cheap, works well and will hold most rifles. If you have that and a hard case they just think it's all music gear.

March 17, 2005, 01:24 PM
I guess I am lucky to live where I know most of the neighbors (house not appartment) so my response would probably be something like

"You want to come with?"

March 17, 2005, 01:31 PM
I lived in a "rampaging soccer mom" zone for a while in California, and one woman actually crossed the street to ask me that question one Saturday morning while I was loading a couple cases in the truck.

"Are those guns?!!? :what: "


Don't recall exactly what I said, but she left in a bit of a huff... :o

If a kid asks, though, I'll probably say golf clubs. Or rattlesnakes... :evil:

March 17, 2005, 01:38 PM
This one made me think. It's never come up with me. I like the "tools" answer. And would probably use that if asked.

I'm a fan of camoflage. When I go to the range my carry weapon is well concealed and my other "stuff" is in a gym bag I got with a hard knee brace. I like the idea of a bat bag and may get one.

The best way to answer that question may be to avoid being asked.

March 17, 2005, 03:34 PM
I've answered "Fly rods" in the past.

Declaration Day
March 17, 2005, 03:58 PM
The neighbors who I trust know that I have them.

One day when one of the neighbor's kids was playing in my basement with my daughters, he asked "Why can't we go into that room?"

Me: "Because there are guns in there"

Kid: "My dad says guns are killing machines"

Me: "Tell your dad criminals are the killing machines"

That's the only time I've been asked anything about my guns.

March 17, 2005, 04:14 PM
I'd say it was a pool stick, fly rod, whatever. I wouldn't say it was a gun, I wouldn't want the kid advertising to the entire neighborhood I had guns in the house, in case she has a big brother, or uncle, or daddy that would want to drop in unannounced while I'm out and do some snooping.

March 17, 2005, 04:34 PM
Depends - kind of a wide open question with a several scenarios that could be there In an apartment complex Probably best to not advertise If you want to invite a child to shoot you could always do that without letting em know you own gun. (i.e. range rental)

March 17, 2005, 04:47 PM
except maybe to those who were peeing in their diapers when I was in college

Ahh, the good old days :D

If it were a child asking, I'd say something generic like "grown-up toys," or "parts." An adult neighbor in my building would get the same type of response. My building has a high turnover rate and I've never known any of the tenants long enough to gain trust or feel out their 2A opinions.

I've managed to avoid the question altogether by putting pistols into a tote back with a non-firearm related logo and soft-cased rifles into a large plain black duffel bag.

March 17, 2005, 05:04 PM
6 yr old (tossing a ball in my apt complex parking lot): whats that?

me (grinning evily): machine guns...muhahahahaha...

kid (eyes wide): oh!

Always tell them the scariest possible thing - then laugh - they'll think you're joking...and thier parents/kiddie friends won't believe them if they blab...

Tom Servo
March 17, 2005, 05:10 PM
Well, luckily it's been years since I've lived in shared housing, but I was an avid amateur astronomer, so it was generally assumed I was carrying a telescope and/or equipment.

I was never asked point-blank, but if I were, I would have told them something along those lines. Either that, or "none of your business. What's in your purse?"

March 17, 2005, 06:32 PM
All my neighbors have long arms. So I don't have to worry. :)

I think I would say a rifle.

Spreadfire Arms
March 17, 2005, 06:43 PM
"Ancient Chinese Secret"

i'm asian...i can get away with it :D

March 17, 2005, 06:53 PM
A small elephant. You know, that's exactly what I was going to say.

Not small, though, he's a midget. And pretty big for a midget elephant. :)

Dave Markowitz
March 17, 2005, 07:34 PM
I'd say that it's an evil baby killing assault weapon that I got from the ice cream truck o'death, and if they run fast enough they can catch it and get one of their own.


March 17, 2005, 07:39 PM
i never pass up an opportunity to put a positive spin on guns. be honest with them. i'll bet it'll interest them and they'll ask you more questions about it.

i can appreciate the security concerns in apartments, but you can still have a gun safe in an apt.

Standing Wolf
March 17, 2005, 09:35 PM
I've never been the least bit shy about letting people know I exercise my Second Amendment civil rights. I'm not shy about letting people know I vote. I'm not shy about letting people know I read books.

March 17, 2005, 09:55 PM
I live in a open carry state so there is no doubt what I am packing. Everyone here has rifles in the back window of their truck. I don't think I have ever even been asked anything. Now in Spokane (where I lived for 3 years) I am sure sombody would freak, but its still open carry nonetheless, however I always just carried concealed there, cause the cops would more than likley shoot my ass :scrutiny: THEN ask about my ccw.


March 17, 2005, 10:05 PM
I don't even bother with a case for long guns, unless I'm carrying more than two at once. For handguns, I have a cheap black plastic case that hold up to 4 small pistols, that I bought at a pawn shop for $2 because the people couldn't figure out how to open it.

I've been questioned before, but its no big deal. I even got my neighbors - raging liberals - to promise to go to the range with me sometime! I don't worry too much about people breaking in - its not all that hard to do, but this is a rather upscale apartment community, and although it IS possible that openly having a firearm could make me a target, I don't worry a whole lot about it.

March 17, 2005, 10:40 PM
While it would be nice to tell the young lady the truth, as firearms ownership is nothing of which to be ashamed. I would not be so precise. She has no pressing need to know.

People talk, especially precocious children. They can and do say astounding things at the most unpredictable moments.

You have no control over where the information you provided will end up. Anyone who comes to steal your guns will also take anything else of value you and your loved ones own. Whether or not they obtain the guns for which they originally came.

A home break in will stand your life on it's head, and will take an inordinate amount of time to put right, if ever.

Tell her it's tools. That's not lying.


March 17, 2005, 11:22 PM
"It's an assault rifle, with cop killer bullets" :neener:

either that or I'd say "I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you"

But seriously, If I lived in a neigborhood, I'd just say, as many other have mentioned, that it's a rifle and I am going target shooting.

March 18, 2005, 12:24 AM
If anyone asked around here, they would likely not be asking if it's a gun, but what KIND of gun, what scope, what caliber, what do you hunt with it, did you get anything last season, how big were the horns, how much meat did you get, how far away was it, what load did you use, what are you going to put in for next season, or are you going to hunt general season, did you use horses to get in, did you have any bear trouble, and then tell you all about their side of all those questions, and their Dads side, brothers side, and their uncles side, and their moms side, and..........Dang I like Wyoming.

Sort of reminds me of the time I was stopped for speeding in Arizona a few years (20) ago, and ended up talking guns with the DPS (Highway Patrol) officer for 20 minutes. No, he didnt give me a ticket, but he really liked my original Winchester 1886 and my Colt SAA.

March 18, 2005, 12:34 AM
I would say little kid mind your own business and keep your snot nose out of mine! Neighbors bah humbug I live in New York we all hate each other.....

First of all, if I did not know the kid, I doubt I would say anything except maybe to ask hasn't her parents ever told her not to talk to strangers! If I knew her I would tell her what I had, this of course dependent upon the type of apartment complex in whcih I lived - full of low life skells or fairly decent folks.

I have no trouble telling my neighbors now that I have guns, or advocating for gun owner's rights; so I probably would have no trouble telling a child like the one described that is was some type of a firearm. I would explain I was on my way to the rifle range to get in some practice with my rifle (or whatever).

If I wanted a laugh I could tell her it contained a few "long arms", roll my eyes in a sinister fashion:neener:, and let her wonder what other body parts I was carrying in the case.

All the best,
Glenn B

Mark in California
March 18, 2005, 03:30 AM
Never lived in an aprtment. Always lived in a house. Load up in the garage with the door down. When I am at the summer property I am even more worried that they might think I leave a firearm there.

Try to case and bag everything. I worry about people IDing me as a gun owner and robbing my house. I watch my back real close when returning from the range. Members have been followed.

Having had my house broken into once, I try to be very carefull not to advertize that I have any firearms or anything worth stealing.

March 18, 2005, 04:11 AM
Electric guitars look like they'd fit well in a long hard case. Or electric basses. I'd think acoustic anything would be too thick - wouldn't want a long arm as thick as an acoustic guitar - but the electrics look like they'd do nicely.

Of course, it would help if you actually played said instrument every now and then, so you could keep your cover.

March 18, 2005, 08:57 AM
A little background: I have a safe in my apartment, and a Medeco lock on my front door surrounded by a steel kickplate to thwart jimmying, etc. Also, I live in an upstairs apt but my front door is on the ground level, so the front door is the only way to get in without a ladder. This also gives me a tremendous tactical advantage in the unlikely event of a home invasion, as there is a blind right angle turn in the middle of the entry stairway. All my upstairs balcony doors are reinforced. And one of my neighbors across from me is a BSO deputy who works graveyards and sleeps during the day. In short, my apartment isn't easy to burgle.

I know most of my neighbors, and the apt management knows I am a firearms instructor and have guns (the assistant mgr has her CCW) and they're cool about that. The maintenance man cannot enter unless I or my wife are home (they do not have a master key), but I know him and he's a good guy. My apartment is on the "do not exterminate" list, the exterminator doesn't get my key either.

I don't advertise, but I don't want to lie nor do I want to alarm my neighbors, so "paper punch" may be my best reply so far.


March 18, 2005, 09:03 AM
Target rifles (or shotguns, pistols, etc.).

March 18, 2005, 10:03 AM
Make some sort of smart aleck response along with a laugh, the kid will write me off as a standard annoying adult. If I know the kid and his judgement is good, I'll tell him the truth, but chances are if I know him and his parents he's probably already been invited to go to the range with me.

Usually I have my firearms camoflauged in some way when I am carting them from the house to the car. I've found that a couple of cheap mexican style blankets rolled up around the gun cases and then tied look amazingly like a bundle of blankets being carted to a picnic or the beach (thanks to Burt Blade who passed on this neat bit of camoflauge to me). All my other range gear goes in a sturdy gym bag in some color other than black or navy blue (nobody expects guns in a bright red gym bag and NO ONE wants to steal a sweaty jockstrap!). I've had my house robbed before so I do not advertise ANYTHING expensive I might have on hand to anyone.

The last time my Dad's place was robbed the guy turned out to be a friend of the family's boyfriend (house has been burglarized twice, once while I lived there which prompted the purchase of a security system and once after I moved out). She and her boyfriend had come up from the Miami area to visit a couple of weeks before we got hit and he had been too sick to go out to dinner one evening and stayed at the house (which is when he checked out the place for stuff to steal). A few weeks after they left a black suv rolled up to our house and he walked in through the front door (broke the window) and cut the alarm lines (cut the phone line outside before he went in as well). He cleaned out what was left of our gun collection after the first robbery (Dad hadn't got the clue yet about a gun safe) and took a bunch of other items. So anyone you tell you have weapons or other high street value items could potentially be a burgler or let slip information about you to a burgler.

March 18, 2005, 10:13 AM
Thinking about some peoples living situations reminds me of visiting in Illinois. I have only soft cases, (they take up less room), when I walk from the house to the vehicle to go shooting, I hold the handle of the carry strap, but with the case vertical and against my body, keys in hand so I don't stand around fumbling with them and have to put the gun down showing it's profile. This way it isn't sticking out like a gun case. A casual glance reveals nothing much of interest. I do the same thing taking long guns into motel rooms when on the road. A small duffle ro gym bag can handle the handguns, headphones and other stuff that goes along. Where the family lives isn't a high crime neighborhood, I just don't like to advertise.

Ol' Badger
March 18, 2005, 01:55 PM
"A Body"

Bear Gulch
March 18, 2005, 02:32 PM
"The body of the last kid who asked me nosy questions!" JK

If it were neighbor kids that I know the parents of the answer would be a micro progun lesson, heavy on responsiblity and safety. Kids I don't know, I would politely explain that they aren't in my chain of command, nor do they have a need to know.

March 18, 2005, 07:00 PM
Pool cue, fishing rod, or a flute. Nobody needs to know , and I don't want to be rude, and attract attention to myself.

March 18, 2005, 08:58 PM
Depending on his age and how well I knew him or her, I might respond with "Guns, wanna go ask your Mom/Dad if you want to go to the range with us ???" Since I live in a house in fairly nice neighborhood, and don't fear my neighbors (most are non-gun owners, not anti-gun, they just don't see the need, a nice whitebread suburban neighborhood.) Also I've taken most of the kids in the neighborhood to the range with my kids. So that wouldn't be an unusual question, more likely the kid knows and is trying to "invite" him or herself along.

In an apartment complex......whole different story......

cracked butt
March 18, 2005, 11:01 PM
I would tell the kid exactly what it is. I knew what they were at that age and see no reason to shroud in mystery what I might be carrying in a case. *

*Disclaimer- this comes from a guy who likes to sit down with my toddler son and read "Rifleman" and ooh and ahh over all of the pictures of shiny objects. My son now knows how to point at a picture in the magazine and say "M1 rifle." He makes daddy proud. :D

March 18, 2005, 11:12 PM
Now, discounting wacky situations (surrounded by anti's itching to call the cops cause you're a "gun nut,") etc...

I see myself as sort of a traveling evangelist for firearms. I'm a young married woman, professional, cheerful, a little weird (I wander around with a spotting scope - I watch birds). I find people are receptive (often, not always) when I preach the gospel of Sam Colt. :D

So I'd tell the kid I was taking a gun to the range. And if the kid seemed interested and was of a suitable age, I'd go with something along the lines of, "If you want to go with me sometime and try, tell your Mom and Dad and have them come talk to me. I'd be glad to take you."

Done it before, would do it again. I am DEVOTED to making new riflemen. I'll even peddle to the little ones. :evil:

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