What was in his guitar case? It sure wasn’t a guitar, cops say

A 35-year-old Key West man violated a court order that barred him from possessing firearms by riding around on his scooter with an assault rifle, pistol and 200 rounds of ammunition stashed in a guitar case and backpack, according to police.

Tristan Bland was pulled over on his yellow scooter June 11 on Duval Street after police received a tip about the guns.


Bland admitted he had weapons, police said, saying he had a concealed-carry permit, which officers soon discovered wasn’t true. Bland also had a temporary protection order barring him from carrying firearms or any weapons.

Inside the guitar case and the backpack, police discovered a .223 AR rifle and a .9 mm Glock pistol. They also found approximately 200 rounds of ammunition, numerous magazines for both weapons, knee and elbow pads and a tactical vest.

“We like to think we’re a small town,” said Police Chief Donie Lee. “But we’re not immune to the rash of gun violence sweeping the nation. We need to be vigilant.”

The guns were not registered to Bland.

Bland was booked for misdemeanor weapon possession, resisting an officer, drug paraphernalia and two counts of felony drug possession.

Bland also had a suspended driver’s license and when being handcuffed, tossed his keys and three plastic bags to the ground. Police found marijuana, paraphernalia and $1,900 in cash.

In October 2011, Bland was arrested for firing four rounds from a .22 caliber AR rifle outside of Wing Master’s restaurant, 934 Truman Ave., which was open and occupied at the time. Detectives said he was shooting at someone he’d been arguing with earlier. The shots struck the Truman Avenue building and no one was injured.

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