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Old 11-04-2007, 11:27   #1
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Carrying firearms while cruising

Does anyone out there have information regarding carrying firearms for protection while cruising the Caribbean? I am planning an extensive cruise starting December 2008 until and would like to be able to protect myself on the high seas. I am a lifetime member of the NRA and never go anywhere without protection. I do not plan on starting now. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Robert.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:39   #2
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Not a good idea. If you should encounter nasties my best advice is to act poor. Many Countries will toss your but in jail for having firearms on board. Flare guns are legal and spud guns used as molotov coctail launchers are not considered as weapons. Behond that you will just have to be smarter. You would likely be out gunned anyhow, unles you can disguise a 50 caliber machine gun as a bowsprit ornament. Good luck and good cruising.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:57   #3
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Robert,

Cruising the Caribbean you will not likely spend a lot of time on the "high seas"; you will probably find you are spending a lot of time checking your guns 'at the door' when you enter the various countries. Noonsite provides specific info, and somewhere in this forum is a thread with a breakdown of some of the countries' entry requirements vis a vis firearms. Your best bet is to consider burglar-proofing your boat and avoiding risky anchorages. btw, I'm not anti-gun; I would probably take long guns on a circumnavigation, but not if I was staying in the carib. Cheers.

Kevin
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Old 11-04-2007, 13:17   #4
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Excerpted from the first post in “Firearms Regulations by Country” at:
Firearms Regulations by Country

What you can expect by Country:
I’ve attempted to provide a representative list, sampling some of the many Countries a cruiser might wish to visit. This list is, of course, incomplete.

The Bahamas: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...s/cis_989.html
Tourists who arrive by private boat are required to declare firearms (and every round of ammunition) to Bahamian Customs, and leave firearms on the boat (in a secure compartment) while in The Bahamas. In the event of your being boarded by Customs or the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the information on your cruising permit will be checked carefully against your actual supply. Ammo’ must match cruising permit exactly.

The Turks and Caicos: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1048.html
The importation of all firearms (including those charged with compressed air) to the Turks and Caicos is strictly forbidden without prior approval in writing from the Commissioner of Police. U.S. citizens may contact the Turks and Caicos Customs Department at (649) 946-2867 for specific information regarding customs requirements.
In practice, your guns will be confiscated for the duration of your stay, and returned immediately prior to your departure. Once you’ve retrieved your firearms, you’ll be expected to depart immediately. Spear guns, Hawaiian slings, controlled drugs, and pornography are also illegal.

The Dominican Republic: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1103.html
The DR is one of those places that confiscates your weapons, requires you to check in and out of every port, and allows cruising yachts to stop at only a few ports.

U.S. Virgin Islands:
Firearms must be declared and need a permit. For further information on firearms write to the Commissioner of Public Safety, St Thomas, USVI.

British Virgin Islands: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1079.html
Firearms must be bonded and are held by the proper authorities until time of departure. Contact BVI Customs & Immigration at (1)(284) 494-3475, the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Washington, D.C. or one of the UK''s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Anguilla: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1107.html
You need a permit to own any gun on Anguilla. Firearms should be licensed and must be securely locked on board, under the captain's control only.

Antigua & Barbuda:
Antigua and Barbuda customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Antigua and Barbuda of items such as firearms.
Fire arms must be declared and if customs are satisfied that they are safely secured, you may be allowed to keep them on board.

St. Kitts & Nevis:
Firearms must be declared and usually are bonded on board.

Guadelupe:
Non-French nationals on a tourist visit to Guadeloupe for less than 185 days can import two hunting guns and 100 cartridges for each. Other firearms are not permitted. All weapons should be declared.

Dominica:
It is illegal to take firearms into or out of Dominica. Don't even think of it - Dominican jails are very basic!
‘Noonsite’ says “Firearms must be declared.”

Martinique:
Firearms and ammunition are a heavily restricted item
Prior approval required from the French Ministry of Defense to import firearms. (Import permit issued by Directorate General of Customs, bureau D 3.)
‘Noonsite says “Firearms must be declared.”

St. Lucia:
Licensed firearms must be declared and are subject to immigration and police regulations.
Firearms must be declared, but no action is taken if staying less than three days, after which they must be sealed on board by a customs officer. Yachts temporarily imported will have weapons held by customs in Castries or possibly by police if a longer permit is obtained.
Undeclared and unlicenced firearms will be seized by the authorities.

St. Vincent & The Grenadines:
Licensed firearms must be declared and are subject to immigration and police regulations. An application must be made to the Commissioner of Police for a local licence. Undeclared and unlicenced firearms will be seized by the authorities. Firearms must be declared on arrival, and can be sealed on board, but if a yacht has no suitable locker, the firearms will be held in the custody of customs or police until departure.

Grenada:
Firearms must be declared to customs and will be sealed on board in a proper locker or kept ashore in custody until departure. A receipt will be issued by the police.

Barbados: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1022.html
Firearms must be licensed and declared immediately to customs on arrival. They will be kept in custody until departure. Penalties for non-declaration or possessing an unlicensed firearm are severe.

Trinidad & Tobago:
Firearms and ammunition must be declared on arrival and will be taken by the customs boarding officer and placed in custody at the central police station. Requests for their return prior to departure must be made to customs at least 48 hours before clearance; failure to do so may result in a delay to departure or departure without the firearms. To keep firearms in your possession during the stay, it is necessary to apply to the Commissioner of Police for a licence.

More at:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f57/firearms-regulations-by-country-1641.html
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Old 11-04-2007, 13:39   #5
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I believe Puerto Rico also has restrictions. It sounds like you can only have weapons if you have a permit and you can only get a permit if you are a PR citizen?

Otherwise, It is such a pain, I leave the weapon, or stay at home.

This, coming from someone who has been there and won't do it again.

Now maybe on the world cruise???
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Old 11-04-2007, 13:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
Anguilla: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1107.html
You need a permit to own any gun on Anguilla. Firearms should be licensed and must be securely locked on board, under the captain's control only.
Gord,

Again great information... Especially the part I've highlighted above... I interpret this to mean, don't give the key to the Admiral!

Mark
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Old 11-04-2007, 13:51   #7
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Vanaller?
"I am a lifetime member of the NRA and never go anywhere without protection." The short answer is, you are not going on that cruise this year, or anytime soon.

Speaking of protection, in some places like Turkey, condoms are (or at least were) also considered contraband and will be confiscated on sight. Good thing there are no Islamic Republics in the carib, or the rum trade would have never been built!
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Old 11-04-2007, 14:35   #8
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very interesting subject guys, i too was always curious about protection out and about, from the few people i knew that were cruising the Caribe they were safe with the thought of no trouble but it was on there mind,

i remember one stating they were preety sure they were going to have some trouble from a what seemed to be a supply vender that aproached them on the water (i cannot remember the local) as they were very forward and kept trying to come aboard. and machettes were seen.
i would think that is maybe a normal rational to many of us when in unfamilar waters" to protect ourselves and loved ones.

i quess it all comes down to the area and the threat levels and sometimes even in what would be conciderd safe locals anything can happen.

as a person that will defend myself and family and friends, the thought as i stated has crossed my mind as i start to look for a cruising cat,

in no way would i indorce/recomend any activity as far as breaking the countries laws you would be entering and as fellow members stated you should abide by thier laws and regulations or possibly pay the "piper"

on a note i would think with "enough ingenouity (sp?) that one could manufacture a very, shall we say safe storage compartment integural to the boats constuction, i have seen it done in many homes, one would also need quick access for the threat, be advised that there are well trained dogs that can "sniff out weapons" one or maybe others on board should also be very well trained in the use of such protection devices. and i believe a good security plan should be well thought out and praticed in case of such an event should happen.from all means possible from radio/sat phones/ect

having friends in the law and security buisness and XMillitary,they have stated that hanguns are preety much useless in most cicumstances (unless very well trained for accuracy) expecially in untrained hands as the accuracy is terrible,

best they say for the close up is a shotgun some use 00 buck not always needed as a lighter load will usually do but 00 buck has a *ell of alot of stopping power, also they say a mutiple capacity semi auto rifle say in the .223 or in the 762x39 range these would be normaly a AR15 or a Version of the AK, and a quick scope (laser) would be very helpfull, now another add on would be a longer range rifle, as maw bell says "long distance next best thing to being there" would be a 270 with scope

note by all means i am note suggesting anyone carry weapons but if needed these would be my picks,> well other than a Barrett 50 cal semi auto, thing weighs 30 pounds dang accurate over a mile, ask a few iragis

just be sure if you ever need to pull them out be prepared to use them, as often your own weapon is or can used against you,

Sparky
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Old 11-04-2007, 16:31   #9
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Sparky-
Try waving them off and shouting "viruela! peligrosa!" meaning "Smallpox! Danger!"

Coupla dabs of dark makeup spots on your face, and that might scare 'em off faster than a howitzer.

On concealed compartments? Back in the "Zero Tolerance" days the USCG passed some rules about that. Assuming they are still quietly in effect, if you build such a compartment and fail to register it with the USCG it will be considered evidence of smuggling or intent to smuggle. Welcome to Amerika, Over 300 million served, and can I SuperSize that for you? (sigh)
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Old 11-04-2007, 17:31   #10
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hellosailor lol i like that idea,
i could always show them a blown up picture of my EX saying she is onboard! that should almost do the trick right there lol"

i did not know that of the concealed compartments even regarding the laws of intent WOW to say the least hmm some reading to do.

i wonder though if the arms are registered in say Uncle Sam and they "US found the compartment what the implications would be as long as there are no laws coverning the off/on border limits hmm?

i was thinking more of the other countries, i quess if one undertakes such a compartment they should better think it out "very well i still think it could be done with enough thought, to build a compartment i am sure there are alot of fellow cruiseres that know there decks and hulls ect very well from inch to inch that thier imagination can get rolling to some possibilites, the risk i quess is up to the bearer when on otheres /waters rights,

Sparky
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Old 11-04-2007, 18:40   #11
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oh no, not another american having to carry guns. Get over yourselves, the only cruisers who carry guns are American.

If you want to get shot, go ahead carry a gun.
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Old 11-04-2007, 19:45   #12
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beau,

Nice post - ignorant and insulting, without a shred of useful advice. We need more opinions like that (insert 'sarcasm' smiley here).
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Old 11-04-2007, 21:38   #13
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I don't know many sailors who are more clever than the customs or coastguard guys. They know all the tricks and will generally find any hidden space if they look. (Speaking from personal experience)
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Old 11-04-2007, 22:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky
i remember one stating they were preety sure they were going to have some trouble from a what seemed to be a supply vender that aproached them on the water (i cannot remember the local) as they were very forward and kept trying to come aboard. and machettes were seen.
i would think that is maybe a normal rational to many of us when in unfamilar waters" to protect ourselves and loved ones.
Remember, in many parts of the tropics, a machete is as much a tool as a weapon. We should view it in much the same light as a hammer hanging from a tool belt in Missouri.

There are cultural differences that inevitably lead to misunderstandings too. I have lived and cruised in Asia for the better part of a decade and I can tell you the VAST majority of pirate "incidents" are just misinterpretations of events. I wrote an article for a regional sailing magazine that took a cold, hard look at the piracy data on Southeast Asia. Conclusion? Almost zero verifiable piracy against pleasure vessels.
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Old 11-04-2007, 22:21   #15
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From all I've witnessed - this seems factual though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman
beau,

Nice post - ignorant and insulting, without a shred of useful advice. We need more opinions like that (insert 'sarcasm' smiley here).
Actually Beau has made a valid point.

We've spent a few years travelling and apart from rifles for bears far north - I'd agree all the arguments for carrying guns as a 'defense' against other people, appear to come from US citizens.

Cheers
JOHN
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