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Old 22-01-2012, 09:01   #106
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I wouldn't bet on it. They've seen every hiding place you can imagine, and many that you can't. They spend their lives finding hiding places that people thought would be very difficult for them to find. All those places that you think to yourself "they'll never look there" are exactly the places that they WILL look.

And like others said, the consequences if they find a gun that you said you didn't have are severe. Having your boat confiscated will be the least of your worries. You could spend years in some third-world rat-hole of a prison.

If you want to carry a gun, that's up to you. But I would strongly recommend against lying about it. If you carry a gun, declare it, and follow all the procedures. If you don't want to do that then leave the gun behind.
I disagree with you.

The reason we sail to different ports is to see the world and how other cultures live. Would not having the authorities,,, in a third world country,, finding an undeclared firearm,,,give you the opportunity to visit and explore the third world country penal system???

Is not seeing the world what sailing is all about????
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Old 22-01-2012, 09:22   #107
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

In a few other threads and sites the gun thing comes up often. I too have wondered about packing. I am more worried about outside of the US than here, maybe naive. I concluded that if you really wanted to carry, you could probably do a shotgun in most places. It is a better weapon anyway if you are boarded in the Indian Ocean. In many places offshore, the shotgun is considered a hunting tool and may pass. More likely to pass if it is not especially high tech as the local police do not want you to have better guns than they. Many places alow as long as it is locked, unloaded, shells locked seperately, captain only has the key. THey keep a count of the shells as you enter and you have to show you exported all of the shells. (no casual 'plinking') Oddly, some 'civilized' countries are the most difficult in this respect. Australia and England have both pretty well disarmed. England eliminated all shotguns that hold more that two total shells. This means a pump shotgun is not permitted and no semi-auto. I understand the handgun aversion by region and state as this is a hot button issue. How does NYC treat a shotgun? I'm pretty sure you can have one everywhere else in the US and most states do not require a permit for long guns, especially shot guns. I could have a new one in less than an hour with quick background check in Michigan. The higher authority here is my lovely wife.

I also have really deep hiding places. Three years after we acquired our 1984 Camper & Nicholson we found yet another place unknown to us and we've been working hard at re-fitting. Still, very good advice on not trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the police. Risk is too high. Check Noonsite regarding regulations off-shore. THey also have extensive discussion on the topic.

We are documented. Have to be Michigan registerd with decal too. Once we leave Michigan we will have no home but the boat. I'm not planning to continue giving Michigan 550 bucks for a decal and they in fact cannot collect if we no longer have registration or residence there.
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Old 22-01-2012, 09:22   #108
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
You could spend years in some third-world rat-hole of a prison.
I suspect MD has first world rat hole prisons.
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Old 22-01-2012, 21:36   #109
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

I dont carry any guns on my boat when travelling overseas. It is their country and I need to follow their rules.

Having said that, in our cruise through the Caribbean last year we passed through customs when entering an island at least 10 or 12 times and NOT ONCE did anyone ever even set foot on our boat. Apart from the Bahamas on the way home they never even looked out their window to see that there actually WAS a boat corresponding to the papers I was showing them.
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Old 22-01-2012, 22:57   #110
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

Before our crossing from Cape Town for the Caribbean a few months ago, I was against guns on board ... however, we had an attempted boarding by sea robbers / pirates off Guyana and I had to shoot at the perpertrators with a flare pistol .... DO I WISH I had an AK47 on board .... you better believe it ... I felt so helpless ... it happened at 06:00 at 8*07N 54*15W ... it is on our blog under 07 January 2012 Impi - I cannot describe the feeling and clearly these guys were not well enough organised ... the outcome could have been a sad story for us !
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Old 23-01-2012, 03:38   #111
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Originally Posted by Nicholson58
In a few other threads and sites the gun thing comes up often. I too have wondered about packing. I am more worried about outside of the US than here, maybe naive. I concluded that if you really wanted to carry, you could probably do a shotgun in most places. It is a better weapon anyway if you are boarded in the Indian Ocean. In many places offshore, the shotgun is considered a hunting tool and may pass. More likely to pass if it is not especially high tech as the local police do not want you to have better guns than they. Many places alow as long as it is locked, unloaded, shells locked seperately, captain only has the key. THey keep a count of the shells as you enter and you have to show you exported all of the shells. (no casual 'plinking') Oddly, some 'civilized' countries are the most difficult in this respect. Australia and England have both pretty well disarmed. England eliminated all shotguns that hold more that two total shells. This means a pump shotgun is not permitted and no semi-auto. I understand the handgun aversion by region and state as this is a hot button issue. How does NYC treat a shotgun? I'm pretty sure you can have one everywhere else in the US and most states do not require a permit for long guns, especially shot guns. I could have a new one in less than an hour with quick background check in Michigan. The higher authority here is my lovely wife.

I also have really deep hiding places. Three years after we acquired our 1984 Camper & Nicholson we found yet another place unknown to us and we've been working hard at re-fitting. Still, very good advice on not trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the police. Risk is too high. Check Noonsite regarding regulations off-shore. THey also have extensive discussion on the topic.

We are documented. Have to be Michigan registerd with decal too. Once we leave Michigan we will have no home but the boat. I'm not planning to continue giving Michigan 550 bucks for a decal and they in fact cannot collect if we no longer have registration or residence there.
Just an aside the UK allows pumps and semis with three cartridges in the mag under the standard shotgun license , Above that it's treated as a rifle and a different license is required. ( firearms certificate) ( but still licence-able) the UK allows rifles in many calibres and semi autos in small calibres. No handguns. Self defence is not an acceptable reason to be given a license. ( except in Northern Ireland) . In would be unheard of for UK sailors to carry firearms. In fact in most of Europe declaring a firearm can cause consternation, even if legitimate. ( please no political flames).

Your comments as to shotguns considered hunting tools is true, but then what's a cruiser doing with a shotgun say in the UK claiming its a hunting tool. The authorities will obviously take it as a defence weapon and this is where problems start.
Also most countries unless you have a proper gun safe on board, will not allow you to keep it inboard in their waters. Even with a gun safe , if the boat is to be left unattended at all, they may require it to be handled in.

In my view for the perceived benefits, the hassle way outweighs it.

Dave
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Old 23-01-2012, 09:51   #112
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Just an aside the UK allows pumps and semis with three cartridges in the mag under the standard shotgun license , Above that it's treated as a rifle and a different license is required. ( firearms certificate) ( but still licence-able) the UK allows rifles in many calibres and semi autos in small calibres. No handguns. Self defence is not an acceptable reason to be given a license. ( except in Northern Ireland) . In would be unheard of for UK sailors to carry firearms. In fact in most of Europe declaring a firearm can cause consternation, even if legitimate. ( please no political flames).

Your comments as to shotguns considered hunting tools is true, but then what's a cruiser doing with a shotgun say in the UK claiming its a hunting tool. The authorities will obviously take it as a defence weapon and this is where problems start.
Also most countries unless you have a proper gun safe on board, will not allow you to keep it inboard in their waters. Even with a gun safe , if the boat is to be left unattended at all, they may require it to be handled in.

In my view for the perceived benefits, the hassle way outweighs it.

Dave
I don't think many cruisers would deem a shotgun or any other firearm necessary or desirable for cruising the UK or Europe generally. For long-distance folks, the issue is having one onboard for other areas of the world, whether it be the higher latitudes where some authorities actually require it for polar bears (see e.g. Yacht Fiona Home Page - Yacht, Fiona, Forsyth, Sailing, Sail, Voyage, YachtFiona, Ocean Cruising), or the sketchy areas off the NE coast of Venezuela previously described by s/v Impi. What are they expected to do, throw it overboard before reaching the European coast? Would they also risk prosecution if they tried to ship it home? Assuming it's Declared, properly locked up, & separated from its ammo, hopefully a customs agent would be reasonable about it. It sounds like every potential stop-over must be researched, however, and impoundment or even confiscation could be the least of it. Do we also have to worry about our plastic flare guns in our ditch bags?? My understanding is that this -- along with up-to-date flares -- is actually a USCG safety requirement.

A few years ago I had an incident in the oh-so-safe Bahamas where we were approached by a small speedboat with at least 6-8 young Bahamian or possibly Haitian males onboard. We were 45nm from the nearest civilization and completely out of sight of land or other vessels. They wanted me to stop the boat which I refused. Whatever these guys were doing out there, it wasn't good. Although they eventually backed off, I was grateful that one of my crew had a firearm. Up until then, I was totally against even the idea of having guns along. Now I can relate to the incredible feelings of vulnerability Impi described being out there without any way of defending yourself, the boat, and loved ones. No politics here, just a personal opinion from someone who has no dog in the fight re: the larger societal issues surrounding gun control generally.
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Old 23-01-2012, 10:26   #113
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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There are many secure hiding places on my boat that would be very difficul for anyone who does not know the vessel to find. What do you think chances on a random stop that the Federales would tear the boat to pieces looking for a firearm?
Try to hide it from him!
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Old 23-01-2012, 10:42   #114
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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Try to hide it from him!
Good point! Just because "I" may not have a "dog" in the fight . . .
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Old 23-01-2012, 10:49   #115
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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.
As a US citizen you are subject to US law regardless of where your at,also illegal to ingage in any act considered in the US to be illegal regardless if it is legal in the country you are in at the time ...DVC
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Old 23-01-2012, 12:17   #116
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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As a US citizen you are subject to US law regardless of where your at,also illegal to ingage in any act considered in the US to be illegal regardless if it is legal in the country you are in at the time ...DVC
Well, there's that whole driving on the other side of the road thing...

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Old 23-01-2012, 12:49   #117
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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.
Check out U. S. v. Villamonte- Marquez (1983) It's in legalese, but at the time it was widely interpreted to mean exactly that - any agency, any time (day or night), any boat, no warrant and no probable cause. Also read Justice Brennan's dissent. In a survey at the time, a majority of BoatUS members thought this was a dandy idea.

A couple of years later, a group of law enforcement agencies closed off Boot Key Harbor (IIRC) by land and sea and didn't let anyone in or out until they had searched all the boats in there. No word on the reaction of BoatUS members present at the time.

This only applies if the boat in question has access to the open ocean, but it is worth remembering that, in another context, the Chicago Yacht Club had Lake Michigan declared an "arm of the sea" so that they could host the America's Cup.

Oh, what the heck. Here's the first sentence from Justice Brennan's dissent:

"Today, for the first time in the nearly 200-year history of the Fourth Amendment, the Court approves a completely random seizure and detention of persons and an entry onto private, noncommercial premises by police officers, without any limitations whatever on the officers' discretion or any safeguards against abuse."
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Old 23-01-2012, 13:20   #118
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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As a US citizen you are subject to US law regardless of where your at,also illegal to ingage in any act considered in the US to be illegal regardless if it is legal in the country you are in at the time ...DVC
That is complete nonsense. This only applies to certain laws and it requires extradition. It is not a general case, ( for example alcohol laws ).

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It is my understanding that the USCG can board a US flagged vessel anywhere in the world, even in another countries territorial waters.
That is also complete nonsense. A US warship, short of declaring war or acting illegally cannot carry out operations in the territorial waters of another nation, unless it receives permission to do so.( such permission might be reasonably given especially in the case of a US registered vessel). The territiorial waters of a nation are sovereign, it would be like suggesting a US cop could fly into Heathrow and start arresting people.

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Old 23-01-2012, 13:26   #119
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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What are they expected to do, throw it overboard before reaching the European coast? Would they also risk prosecution if they tried to ship it home? Assuming it's Declared, properly locked up, & separated from its ammo, hopefully a customs agent would be reasonable about it. It sounds like every potential stop-over must be researched, however, and impoundment or even confiscation could be the least of it.
Your last line is the most important, if you intend to carry firearms, you need to research each and every place you intend to come ashore or clear in, or potentially pass through their territorial waters.


To your first question, yes in a lot of cases youd be better throwing it overboard. The reaction to cruisers clearing in and declaring firearms varies from strict to draconian. Also its important to remember that you cant use the countries firearms licensing laws to determine whats acceptable. You have to specifically research whats the procedures for clearing in with a firearm on board.

By the way its not a customs issue. Shipping it home would almost be impossible., depending on the type of firearm most countries would detain it until you leave or in the case of automatic or semi automatic large calibres, probably seize it. Pistols are viewed with enormous suspicion.

The other issue is that in practice in your boat is connected to land or near land is for anyone to realise you have a firearm aboard, nothing causes burglaries quicker then the local criminal classes finding out the source of a free firearm.

As to what happens to you , it depends, ranging from a kick in the ass to severe penalties. Theres no way if you decide to carry on a boat that you want to land unprepared.

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Old 23-01-2012, 13:59   #120
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Re: Reply from DNR re: Guns on Boats in MD

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
That is complete nonsense. This only applies to certain laws and it requires extradition. It is not a general case, ( for example alcohol laws ).



That is also complete nonsense. A US warship, short of declaring war or acting illegally cannot carry out operations in the territorial waters of another nation, unless it receives permission to do so.( such permission might be reasonably given especially in the case of a US registered vessel). The territiorial waters of a nation are sovereign, it would be like suggesting a US cop could fly into Heathrow and start arresting people.

Dave
Actually a US flagged vessel is considered US territory no matter where it is.

Also the US Navy , and by extension the US coast Guard, have reciprocal agreements with most allies, and even some opposing countries. So except for a few cases, where there are current hostilities, (like Iran), the US Navy can reach out and touch you anywhere.
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