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Old 09-12-2011, 02:47   #76
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
The Federal firearms laws apply to US vessels everywhere. So National Firearms Act (NFA) ... If interested, read this: Title II weapons - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...
Thanks for the link, Carina. Unfortunately, it details what we're NOT allowed to carry, rather than what we are. There's an implied assumption that we're allowed to carry anything else, but the clauses at the end have additional (vague) limitations. The rifle I was considering at the time was a variant of the venerable FN (semi-auto, 7.62x51mm) which clearly falls within the limits, but what the dealer really wanted was a document saying what I was allowed, not what I wasn't.

I haven't been boarded by the Coasties since Grenada in '83, but a $50 AK47 from Mozambique didn't fit my needs.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:49   #77
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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The reason I asked is that I had the opportunity to buy a rifle in South Africa, but the shop needed proof that I was allowed to carry. The US Consulate didn't want to touch the issue () but I didn't know what other authority to ask. Who could issue me with the proof I needed?
Show them a copy of the constitution - (2nd amendment)?
Or next time back in the states get a permit - I reckon that would satisfy them...
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:31   #78
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

Jon Hacking is correct that US law mainly speaks to what is not allowed (full auto, silencers, grenades, etc.) absent a special permit. What is allowed in US waters seems to be determined by whichever state also has jurisdiction over the waters the boat happens to be in. There was a fairly recent case where a US documented mega-yacht from Fla. was cruising NY harbor and the capt got busted for being in NJ waters with an unloaded .45 onboard in a locked safe! Such possession happens to be unlawful w/o a permit in NJ, and the arrest started with a routine CG safety inspection while the boat was in NJ waters. In looking at these different state laws, one needs to be careful to distinguish b'twn possession onboard, traveling through, or concealed carry. The latter currently requires a permit in all but two states. An excellent guide to all the state laws, incl. those with reciprocity with others, can be found here: Traveler's Guide to the Firearms Laws of the Fifty States.

So back to JH's question re: proof of lawful possession in the US to purchase his semi-auto FN in S. Africa, it would be lawful under Federal law but not necessarily in the state where he either resides or has his boat. Since he presumably has no such relationship to any state in the US, it would be lawful -- but only because it's not unlawful under Federal law. The fact that the boat may be US documented and/or registered in a state is of no matter. As for proving it, I would suggest contacting the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (ATF) and see if they can help with some sort of documentation.

That was clear, right?!
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:24   #79
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Interesting thread. I do have a concealed weapons permit in Florida. Most states have a reciprocal agreement with exceptions like NYC. It is up to the gun owner to know the laws to where they are traveling. Now if you do not have a concealed weapon permit then yo better know all the laws. In Florida you are allowed to transport a gun unloaded and unreachable if you are going to a gun show or gun range. Kind of hard to claim that on a boat. Better to stick with a flare gun.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:46   #80
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Re: reply from DNR on guns on boats in MD

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I do hope a state official doing official correspondence did not use that cartoon font. Goodness... what are we coming to?

And thank you for posting this.
Just be glad there were no smiley faces
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Old 21-01-2012, 09:14   #81
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Re: Reply from DNR on Guns on Boats in MD

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Annotated Code of Maryland
Title 1. Department of Natural Resources
Subtitle 2. Natural Resources Police Force



񗇈04

a厖.攅very Natural Resources police officer shall have all the powers conferred upon police officers of the State.



This means they have to ask permission, and if you say no they have to get a warrant.
Been there, done that. (Stopped by County Police for routine check and when they asked if they could inspect my locked cockpit lockers I said no. They then inspected all safety equipment and the head. They then said have a nice day and left.)
Please consult your lawyer.
You may certainly act as you want when stopped. I however, will assert my rights.
I usually don't interject opinons contrary to other on this site, but in this case, that is not what "powers" means. The DNR officers have the same powers of arrest as state officers, that has no bearing on what laws are being enforced or whose jurisdiction a particular infraction may fall under nor does it restrict any DNR officer to any search authority....IMO, having been a federal officer.

This is the first forum I have found here about guns on board (that was not locked) and have no intention to argue with anyone either.

I would never go to NY NJ with any firearm, not aware of other cities or states where it would be an issue....but,

I would first suggest you know where you are going and what the issues might be.

I would not try to use any logical approach saying a boat was a wheeled vehicle and try to apply the two different worlds, especially with the USCG or Homeland Security types. Not an expert about waterways but I'm sure they can go where ever they like as a safety inspection, it also depends on what other searches may be conducted, like looking for a particular type of boat having a vague description of a drug runner for example. They can stop and search all white Chevy vans on any highway ya know.

I'd also keep a low profile, I would not clean my autoamtic on the bow in any marina. IMO, others should never know you are armed until it is absolutely necessary.

In most places I know of, it doesn't matter if it's loaded or not. A mag slides in pretty quick in my AR.

Laws have changed and I'm not up on them now since I just ping in my own backyard so to speak. Cruising in the rivers and swamps down south won't be a problem. I'll check out the issue if I go north, especially eastern areas where guns is a dirty four letter word. If I leave the states, I will probably ditch my firearms as I just don't want the hassel of declaring them turning them in or locking them up and having them released when I leave. If you can't have it with you, that means you can't use it....does not matter what the circumstances might have been, you shoot a pirate...say in Mexico, you're going to jail!

I'll have them with me and will ping when I'm in the middle of nowhere, probably not even on the boat.

Sorry if I got off topic sorta, but threads are limited on the topic seem limited. This was pretty much my question as well, how do ya know?

I will probably call the DNR/State guys as I go and just ask what they would like to see as opposed to what the law is, as the LEOs won't tell you what the law is, that's why they have attorneys.

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Old 21-01-2012, 10:30   #82
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

Haven't read the whole thread, so this may have been mentioned already. Some years ago an ordinary cruiser was stopped and boarded by the NYC police in NY harbor. He had a legally registered handgun from another state, but no NYC registration, and was promptly arrested, taken ashore from his boat which was left with family onboard, and put in jail. I believe he got out after a few days and no doubt some expensive lawyering. Main point being that local authorities enforce the local laws, whatever they may be, and you can't count on whipping out the Constitution and claiming otherwise. Sure, you might win eventually if you take it to the Supreme Court, but meanwhile you might be cooling your heals in the local jail somewhere. Here even in upstate NY people are arrested all the time for passing through with a handgun that is not NY registered. Please don't argue about the validity of the law here as that will get political. Just be aware.
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Old 21-01-2012, 11:22   #83
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When my daughter was studying to become an officer they had to have your permission or probable cause to search. Has that changed? Just curious. Not that I have anything to hide.
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Old 21-01-2012, 12:31   #84
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

Courts have upheld that a boat can be searched at any time by any law enforcement without any probable cause. I don't like it either, but that is the law. I think I've been boarded and searched 5 or 6 times, always by the Coast Guard, but I have also been stopped a bunch of times by local law enforcement who didn't board. And, I've never failed to pass the inspection 100%, but I still get stopped. Florida is the worst area because of all the various on-the-water law enforcement agencies that are all looking for something to justify their budget for the go-fast boat and their time spent cruising the waters of Florida.

By the way, I've also been stopped and searched by the Mexican Navy when offshore of Mexico, and the Colombian Navy when down there! It's part of cruising unfortunately.
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Old 21-01-2012, 13:39   #85
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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Courts have upheld that a boat can be searched at any time by any law enforcement without any probable cause.

Not my understanding. My understanding is that they can board you for a safety and compliance inspection, not a search.

But really it doesn't matter except if they find something and charge you with a crime and you get a lawyer.

All arguments about laws and rules etc on a forum are pointless except to protest and vent!
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Old 21-01-2012, 14:26   #86
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

This is off topic, but switching the references to gun laws would make this fit on topic. It is my understanding that the USCG can board a US flagged vessel anywhere in the world, even in another countries territorial waters. Along with enforcing the Federal laws and regulations they can; for example give you a ticket for violating a State "X" law provided your vessel is registered in State "X". Another example would be even if your vessel is Federally Documented, some States still require a State registration sticker, (WV does, You don't need to put a registration number on the boat, but you need to place the registration decal). That said, (if my understanding is correct), the USCG could give you a ticket for an expired State registration sticker in China waters.

My question is: To what extent do they really enforce these things? Do they ignore State requirements once you are in another's territorial waters or out of US waters? Or can they at their choosing give you tickets over The State's Laws or regulations, (for lack of a better word), if you really tick them off?

I do understand the differance between a search and a safty inspection.
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Old 21-01-2012, 14:38   #87
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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This is off topic, but switching the references to gun laws would make this fit on topic. It is my understanding that the USCG can board a US flagged vessel anywhere in the world, even in another countries territorial waters. Along with enforcing the Federal laws and regulations they can; for example give you a ticket for violating a State "X" law provided your vessel is registered in State "X". Another example would be even if your vessel is Federally Documented, some States still require a State registration sticker, (WV does, You don't need to put a registration number on the boat, but you need to place the registration decal). That said, (if my understanding is correct), the USCG could give you a ticket for an expired State registration sticker in China waters.

My question is: To what extent do they really enforce these things? Do they ignore State requirements once you are in another's territorial waters or out of US waters? Or can they at their choosing give you tickets over The State's Laws or regulations, (for lack of a better word), if you really tick them off?

I do understand the differance between a search and a safty inspection.
I don't know if this true in theory but the reality is they can only operate in another countries waters with the permission of that country.
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Old 21-01-2012, 14:43   #88
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

In my experience, having been boarded and inspected by the CG 5 or 6 times, they want to see your boat's paperwork and that has to be in order. If you only have a state registration they would want to see that and make sure it is up to date. In my experience if you have a CG Document they want to see that and nothing else. They carefully check all your CG required safety equipment, all the proper pollution placards, the labels on your lifejackets, etc. I highly recommend carrying a bunch of nice orange USCG approved lifejackets all clean and neat in a nice white case labeled "lifejackets", even if these are not the ones you actually use. These clean and neat jackets are the ones that get you past the inspection, then you can wear whatever you want in reality like the French offshore ones we used to wear that were far superior in construction to anything I've seen in the USA. In short, I do not believe the CG will search and check for anything but Federal requirements. And, I have been boarded by the CG 400 miles offshore when approaching Bermuda. It is worth it having a plan for how to best do something like that as it can be difficult to get the boarding party onboard in rough seas. I had to order them around quite harshly in order to avoid any injuries--still one man nearly fell between the two boats and I luckily was able to drag him in over the lifelines face first. After that they listened a little more closely to my commands.
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Old 21-01-2012, 14:45   #89
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

Not quite right. The state registration is required for documented vessels only if they are being operated in that state. Of course we can get into the fun and games that goes with visiting other states, but once out of the US only the federal document is required, and no law is broken by not being currently registered within a state.
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Old 21-01-2012, 15:01   #90
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

Although the policy has since changed concerning the discussion of guns onboard, the mod team has decided to allow this thread, which was started in May of 2011, to remain open as long as things remain polite.

Thanks
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