It is irritating when a simple and legitimate cruising question turns into an excuse for some people to try and force their social or political views on others.
Equipping your boat with a firearm is as legitimate a safety
precation as carrying an epirb
. Hopefully you will never need either device, but if you feel the need prepare for any
emegency (as many sailors do) then simply learn the rules.
No problem in the Bahamas. Declare it and your ammo. Do not take it ashore. Keep it locked and secured aboard. Bahamian Customs
will note it and the amount of ammo on your cruising permit
If you want to avoid (rare) hassles upon your return to the US, simply register the weapon with US Customs
before you leave by requesting the form for "Personal property taken abroad". Keep that form with your boat's papers and you only need to do it once for unlimited trips abroad with the same weapon. Technically there are limits on the amount of ammo you can take ("export") out of the US, but that is seldom an issue on a boat.
You do not need to "declare" the firearm to US Customs on your return as long as you did not acquire it abroad.
and other violent crime on the ocean is a fact. Rare though it may be in the Bahamas, nobody should be faulted for being prepared. Carry a gun or don't. It is YOUR choice and you have every right to prepare yourself and your vessel as YOU see fit.
Be discreet and never discuss having a gun aboard with other cruisers. Word travels, comments are overheard and a weapon aboard is an invitation to rob your vessel when you are not on it.
BTW, a shotgun is legal
in most countries subject to certain reugulations. a TAZER and even pepper spray however, are most often NOT!!