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Old 13-06-2018, 09:08   #16
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

I lived in Spain for a year, in Barcelona, though it was a few years ago. I didn't own or transport any weapons, but I was working on an American TV show in which the 'bad guys' used guns. The special effects man who owned the 'stunt guns' was a federally licenced officer; the guns were modified so that they would literally blow up if anyone tried to fire live ammo.

Private citizens could own guns, but they were kept at the police station under lock and key. To check your gun out, you had to have a hunting (or shooting) licence. The gun had to be transported unloaded in a locked case, and could not be opened or displayed except in context of its use. Gun ownership there is a privilege, not a right, and you need to pass a background check and a training course to get a gun licence.

Considering the recent political turmoil in Spain these days, I wouldn't enter with a gun. I can't speak to arriving in a private Yacht, but I can imagine many hassles. I would not travel internationally with a firearm.

If you decide to do it, I would love to hear of your experiences.
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Old 13-06-2018, 09:18   #17
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

Ken,
I have traveled through and around the Med more times than I can remember on a dozen or more boats. I have always had weapons with me in an easy to get to well hidden locker. I once declared them in Israel, which was not a problem. Other than that, I do not declare them. And I have never had a problem with that.

Now I am not saying to do that. I am just giving my experience.

Good luck with your endeavors to get an informative answer here.

M
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Old 13-06-2018, 09:21   #18
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

Being from Europe I would advise you write to the customs office of each country you plan to visit and ask what the current rules are. There have been changes in response to problems. Include a translation to the relevant language if possible.
I would suggest you plan on the basis that in each country all weapons and amo will be confiscated and places in secure storage at your expense. On leaving you will be required to either collect them from your port of entry and immediately leave territorial waters or to pay for secure transport of them to your departure port. The latter option will be expensive and difficult as you will need to contract a private security van. This is 'worst case' some places may even allow them on-board in a customs sealed locker.

While guns are legal in most countries normal practice is that target guns are kept locked at a designated range and hunting weapons are single shot for each barrel. Auto and semi-auto weapons are banned completely unless you are military. May places require weapons to be locked in a concealed cabin ate for transport on the highway. Rules for foreign nationals are always stricter and may depend on your country of origin.
The other thing I would warn you against is the cultural difference. Most people in Europe will never have seen a gun other than those carried by the police. If they saw anything resembling an automatic weapon it is very very likely to trigger a full terrorist response and mass panic. They are not going to now whether it is legal or not, you have an automatic weapon (including anything with a magazine) ego you are either a major criminal or a terrorist!!!
My suggestion is to arrange to have it place in storage when you arrive in Europe and collect it when you leave, much simpler.
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Old 13-06-2018, 09:34   #19
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

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Originally Posted by Miker1944 View Post
I hope you get some serious and factual answers, I’ll be following for current information. Thanks for posting the question.

I too hope you get some factual, current and on point answers. Personally I'm on the fence on this issue. If it wasn't such a hassle I'd carry weapons JIC, but it is a hassle and am thinking alternative methods that don't require check in, declaration and can be just as effective.
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Old 13-06-2018, 10:05   #20
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

The sincere answer, and I suspect that you will not like it, is that in Europe there is no right to carry guns amendment as there is in the US.

Therefore, and I avoid any comment as to respective merit, those who wish to legally own guns have to prove both a need and, based on that need coupled with fitness, due authorisation.

Further, different countries categorise weapons in different ways.

Many countries have absolute prohibitions with minimum sentences. For example, in the UK 5 years in relation to firearms.

Any suggestion in this thread to you do not comply with local laws is, in my view, reckless in the extreme. You run the risk of being able to reflect at considerable leisure from the comfort of a cell.

So, you should be aware, might others on your boat as complicit third parties.

Before you even consider compliance, you might want to consider the primary question: what possible good and valid reason can you advance for carrying a lethal weapon in European waters? Unless you can provide a credible, not "rights" based answer, to that question you are not even off first base.

In case you think that I do not know what I am talking about, I spent decades arguing gun cases on both sides and in later years sentencing people. I have heard both the sob stories and the pathetic excuses.

You were right to ask the question. I suspect that from the thread you now also know the sensible answer. Even if that means dumping the thing over the side in default of finding somewhere with an amnesty on possession.
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Old 13-06-2018, 10:35   #21
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

I reside part of the year in the UK and travel all over Europe. I have only known a licenced firearm mindset, in South Africa and in Europe. Because of my length of stay and frequency of residence in the UK, the local police requested me to apply for a shotgun permit and a firearms licence, instead of a visitor's permit for those firearms. My South African firearms licences for a .22lr rifle, a .375 H&H rifle and a .308 Win. rifle were granted without any issues whatsoever, as was a shotgun permit. Further to this, a .223 rem rifle and a semi automatic 3 shot shotgun licence was granted for locally bought firearms. Additional thereto: a 7 shot semi automatic shotgun, on my firearms licence ( shotguns with more than 3 shots are deemed to be firearms and licenced as rifles.)
I was given free of charge a "European Firearms Pass" by the local police. This document allows me to transport and use the firearms listed on them and ammunition through and in all the countries who accept and issue this pass, on a reciprocal basis.
When I visit the far North, I present my European Firearms Pass and carry my original licences as well, for inspection by the local authorities. Same when transiting signatory countries. On board I have an approved firearms safe, bolted to the sole and bulkhead and out of sight of casual visitors. My rifles are multiple shot magazine fed bolt action rifles. My safe can be sealed by customs, as it has eyes welded to it to pass a seal through. I report the firearms on board and exact number of rounds, and had these inspected by customs on entry in different countries on entry and departure. Never had any kind of problem or attitude anywhere.
The authorities are well aware that licenced firearms owners, who are thoroughly vetted and strictly play by the rules are not a problem. I hunt all over the place, and up North one is expected to have firearms for polar bear protection.
I normally notify customs in the country I visit or transit well ahead of my arrival, and include passport details and all licence details. The responsible and cooperative attitude on my side has always been appreciated and returned.
Europe has had a firearms culture for sport and hunting since ages and is not anti gun per se. They are very intolerant of undeclared and illegal firearms, and it normally means a criminal record, expulsion and very likely gaol time. My advice is to work with the guys and be upfront about what you carry. The worst that can happen, is that you hand them in until you leave the country.
If you wish to hunt in any country, and do not have a licence because your country does not require any, proof of your booking with an outfitter or an invitation that can be verified often suffices, in my experience. Hunting and sport activities are accepted reasons for carrying a firearm, self defense is NOT!!!! Happily, we do not have a culture of violence that causes people in some countries to arm themselves, and firearm ownership is a privilege around here, not a constitutional right. When you interact with customs agents, it is worth bearing this in mind and acting accordingly. Other than having 2 boat hooks pinched when alongside, I have never felt even remotely threatened in my nearly 50 years of cruising in Europe and a self defense plea for having guns on board in these waters is unlikely to get a sympathetic reaction from customs. Hunting and sporting purposes are well understood and accepted by the authorities around here. Please don't be tempted to hide guns and not declare them. If one goes missing and is used in a crime and is traced back to you, all hell will break loose.
The means exist to have a firearm on board legally, one way or another, with or without conditions or restrictions.
Whatever you do, please don't break the rules and the laws regarding firearms around here, there is no sympathy. Hope this helps.
Fair winds!
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Old 13-06-2018, 10:46   #22
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

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Just don't. Take books instead.
+1 (or a guitar)
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Old 13-06-2018, 10:52   #23
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biomed View Post
I reside part of the year in the UK and travel all over Europe. I have only known a licenced firearm mindset, in South Africa and in Europe. Because of my length of stay and frequency of residence in the UK, the local police requested me to apply for a shotgun permit and a firearms licence, instead of a visitor's permit for those firearms. My South African firearms licences for a .22lr rifle, a .375 H&H rifle and a .308 Win. rifle were granted without any issues whatsoever, as was a shotgun permit. Further to this, a .223 rem rifle and a semi automatic 3 shot shotgun licence was granted for locally bought firearms. Additional thereto: a 7 shot semi automatic shotgun, on my firearms licence ( shotguns with more than 3 shots are deemed to be firearms and licenced as rifles.)
I was given free of charge a "European Firearms Pass" by the local police. This document allows me to transport and use the firearms listed on them and ammunition through and in all the countries who accept and issue this pass, on a reciprocal basis.
When I visit the far North, I present my European Firearms Pass and carry my original licences as well, for inspection by the local authorities. Same when transiting signatory countries. On board I have an approved firearms safe, bolted to the sole and bulkhead and out of sight of casual visitors. My rifles are multiple shot magazine fed bolt action rifles. My safe can be sealed by customs, as it has eyes welded to it to pass a seal through. I report the firearms on board and exact number of rounds, and had these inspected by customs on entry in different countries on entry and departure. Never had any kind of problem or attitude anywhere.
The authorities are well aware that licenced firearms owners, who are thoroughly vetted and strictly play by the rules are not a problem. I hunt all over the place, and up North one is expected to have firearms for polar bear protection.
I normally notify customs in the country I visit or transit well ahead of my arrival, and include passport details and all licence details. The responsible and cooperative attitude on my side has always been appreciated and returned.
Europe has had a firearms culture for sport and hunting since ages and is not anti gun per se. They are very intolerant of undeclared and illegal firearms, and it normally means a criminal record, expulsion and very likely gaol time. My advice is to work with the guys and be upfront about what you carry. The worst that can happen, is that you hand them in until you leave the country.
If you wish to hunt in any country, and do not have a licence because your country does not require any, proof of your booking with an outfitter or an invitation that can be verified often suffices, in my experience. Hunting and sport activities are accepted reasons for carrying a firearm, self defense is NOT!!!! Happily, we do not have a culture of violence that causes people in some countries to arm themselves, and firearm ownership is a privilege around here, not a constitutional right. When you interact with customs agents, it is worth bearing this in mind and acting accordingly. Other than having 2 boat hooks pinched when alongside, I have never felt even remotely threatened in my nearly 50 years of cruising in Europe and a self defense plea for having guns on board in these waters is unlikely to get a sympathetic reaction from customs. Hunting and sporting purposes are well understood and accepted by the authorities around here. Please don't be tempted to hide guns and not declare them. If one goes missing and is used in a crime and is traced back to you, all hell will break loose.
The means exist to have a firearm on board legally, one way or another, with or without conditions or restrictions.
Whatever you do, please don't break the rules and the laws regarding firearms around here, there is no sympathy. Hope this helps.
Fair winds!
Excellent! The kind of advice I’m looking for.

Thanks much.

When checking in, will my carry license from the US be recognized by the authorities so that I can then apply for an EU or Italian license? My US license covers just about every sort of firearm, but I’m only looking to have the single pump-action shotgun onboard, and limiting the magazine tube to three rounds won’t be a problem. What type of gun safe is acceptable in the EU?
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Old 13-06-2018, 11:22   #24
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

I have not had the experience mentioned by the OP. However I have been boarded here in the states by the Coast Guard for a safety check. Also when entering and returning from Canada the Customs people always ask the same question "do you have any weapons aboard." My answer is always "no weapons." I don't think declaring and then the paperwork would be worth it.

That said I do carry bear spray, a flare gun, bow and arrows, all formable weapons. But legal. I am able to lock my boat from the inside while aboard. I also have a cell phone and two VHF radios.

I don't know where you are leaving from, but a simple canister of bear spray stuck in with your air horns should not be of concern. If leaving from the states or Canada it would be an easy explanation. If they give you any static just give it to them. Hand it over. They probably would not want the hassle of filling out the paper work on something not in their rule book.

IMHO it would not be worth it to have guns or ammo on board. People more knowledgeable than I have said do not allow the Mexican officials to even find a spent 22 cartridge in your boat/RV. That would indicate you have a gun and give them an excuse to tear things apart. So leave the guns at home. Don't stand out.
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Old 13-06-2018, 11:22   #25
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
What type of gun safe is acceptable in the EU?
Just Google "gun safe eu" and you get multiple links to manufacturers and which of their safe models are compliant with EU regs.
As a non EU resident it might be better to check, if the import is as simple as described above or do you need some paper work done before entry, with an embassy as that's what they are for..

BR Teddy
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Old 13-06-2018, 11:27   #26
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

Hi. I kept my boat in & sailed around the Balearics for 12 years, with never a hint of any threat. Being British, apart from firing a clay pigeon shotgun on a cruise liner once, the only guns I have ever seen in my seven decades were carried by (usually foreign) police or army. Please be aware the gun culture here is completely different to the USA. We have our ways, you have yours. Please note I am staying polite. This thread is something of a wake up call. I will certainly look at any US flagged boats with a different eye in future. It had not occurred to me that you lot would want to bring your guns over here with you.
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Old 13-06-2018, 12:02   #27
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

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Originally Posted by 1Sunseeker View Post
I don't know where you are leaving from, but a simple canister of bear spray stuck in with your air horns should not be of concern. If leaving from the states or Canada it would be an easy explanation. If they give you any static just give it to them. Hand it over. They probably would not want the hassle of filling out the paper work on something not in their rule book.
The OP wasn't asking about bear-spray, but you can be sure it will be in all their rule books, and for many of them it will be as a prohibited weapon ... in which case not declaring it is still arms smuggling.
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Old 13-06-2018, 12:09   #28
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

The discussion of being armed anywhere in the world is easily answered by contacting each anticipated stop national authority and respecting individual laws- stay within a few parameters-

shot guns and other "sporting" arms are generally accepted worldwide with advance notice and permission (do not hide) Large magazines, excessive ammo supply, and machine type guns (rapid repeat/auto fire) are red flags.

as an international vessel- certain items , including self propelled flares, are considered legal or illegal in certain countries- so advance notice and strict adherence (respect) is recommended. I will admit the last twenty years views have changed.

My personal experience included the flair gun and flares being sealed by customs tape (had to be put into a locked locker within hull ) and it was checked when clearing. The flairs and hand pistols were considered same and treated as such. (customs tape can remove varnish if left on to long)

An experienced captain advised me to declare guns as safety equipment for making noise to attract attention. This was acceptable but do not carry excess ammo and account for all when exiting.

One note on shotgun ammo- look for brass casings and lead shot. We dipped our shells in wax prior to boarding- steel shot will rust to a slug in a couple months of humidity. Same for the gun-grease well.

Be safe
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Old 13-06-2018, 13:13   #29
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

Kelkara, thank you for your thoughtful and courteous correction to my post concerning "bear spray." You seem to be more knowledgeable than I. So I stand corrected. Pull a Slocum, toss the bear spray and just carry a jar of carpet tacks, spread them on the deck and the screams and curses of barefoot boarders should awaken you in time to seal the hatches.
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Old 13-06-2018, 14:17   #30
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Re: Serious Gun Question for EU Med

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Originally Posted by Kelkara View Post
The OP wasn't asking about bear-spray, but you can be sure it will be in all their rule books, and for many of them it will be as a prohibited weapon ... in which case not declaring it is still arms smuggling.
FYI even pepper spray is categorized as an illegal weapon in many EU countries.
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