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Old 17-03-2011, 15:05   #1
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Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

In light of recent events, I would like to know from those who have acutally sailed around the globe with a firearm. How did it go?

I have pretty much made up my mind which way I am going to go and I appreciate the fact that everyone has an opinion. I do not want to hear opinions.

DW
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Old 17-03-2011, 15:16   #2
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

I was crew on a boat last spring, sailing to Panama from Florida. The winds were out of the SW, and not cooperating in the least. We decided to make port in Colombia instead. Not sure of the gun laws there, the Captain brought a box into the cockpit, opened it and produced two handguns which he threw into the Caribbean. I wonder how many guns have rusted away on the bottom there?

Point being, if you are not sure if having weapons aboard will end up with you losing your boat, or spending time in a foreign prision, this is one way to avoid the mess....but yes, we did have guns aboard.

Ralph
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Old 17-03-2011, 17:20   #3
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

I have sailed around the world and I personally think taking a gun is a BAD idea. Officials do not like guns and they can be problematic when declared. If you are caught with a gun that is not declared, you will be jailed and your boat confiscated. We have had agents in more than one country bring gun sniffing dogs and/or detection devices onboard searching for guns. As for piracy, do you really think it is possible to out gun a pirate? Come on now. There are other ways to defend yourself that are probably more effective.
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Old 17-03-2011, 17:30   #4
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

Have not sailed around the world but spent a lot of time in the Caribbean. Used to always keep a gun on board. Usually shotgun or rifle but used to have a SS S&W 357. Most places it was no problem, declare the guns, show them on entry and on departure.

Other places it was a huge pain in the butt. Jamaica for example confiscates your guns, locks them up and "supposedly" returns them when you leave. My S&W is still there.

Will not carry any guns on my next cruise. My opinion, with a little care in planning your cruise the chances you would need a gun is much lower than the problems you have to deal with carrying the gun. And don't even think about not declaring them, third world jails are not pretty.
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Old 17-03-2011, 17:35   #5
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

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Originally Posted by ChristiGrab View Post
I have sailed around the world and I personally think taking a gun is a BAD idea. Officials do not like guns and they can be problematic when declared. If you are caught with a gun that is not declared, you will be jailed and your boat confiscated. We have had agents in more than one country bring gun sniffing dogs and/or detection devices onboard searching for guns. As for piracy, do you really think it is possible to out gun a pirate? Come on now. There are other ways to defend yourself that are probably more effective.
Thank you ChristiGrab I appreciate your personal expereince. I hit that thank you button as well.

DW
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Old 17-03-2011, 19:14   #6
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

I sailed around in the late '90s with a handgun.
I probably would not do it again, as it is a bureaucratic annoyance.
Some hold the guns until you leave.
Some count the ammo before and after but let you keep them on board.
Others don't care too much.
The ammo counting is the worst(they cannot count)
Sometimes (BVI for instance) you must carry the guns down the street to deposit at the police station.
A pistol is better for transferring etc., but mostly you do not have your guns.
I left my guns in Fiji. Told them I would be back in a few weeks. Would pick them up then. Safest way to dispose of them legally...
And if you don't declare? -kinda the same as smuggling drugs...
I just wish we could all get along, and take as many guns as we wish...
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Old 17-03-2011, 19:24   #7
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

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Originally Posted by AllezCat View Post
I sailed around in the late '90s with a handgun.
I probably would not do it again, as it is a bureaucratic annoyance.
Some hold the guns until you leave.
Some count the ammo before and after but let you keep them on board.
Others don't care too much.
The ammo counting is the worst(they cannot count)
Sometimes (BVI for instance) you must carry the guns down the street to deposit at the police station.
A pistol is better for transferring etc., but mostly you do not have your guns.
I left my guns in Fiji. Told them I would be back in a few weeks. Would pick them up then. Safest way to dispose of them legally...
And if you don't declare? -kinda the same as smuggling drugs...
I just wish we could all get along, and take as many guns as we wish...
Thank you for sharing your experience. It is helpful.

DW
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Old 18-03-2011, 13:17   #8
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

I've gone into Mexico a few times with firearms onboard. Have never been boarded, but we'd see the Mexican Navy boats going about, boarding other boats. Just pure luck I never got boarded. I wouldn't do it again. The laws have strengthened against firearms over the years, not relaxed.

I've also had boats pull up next to me (coast guard, in particular) with no lights on, and them whammo they're 10' off your stern watching what you're doing. I imagine other nations with decent coastal security are capable of doing the same thing. In that case if you get boarded you don't have the time to ditch anything without being seen.

- former US Navy as well, for whatever that's worth. Always around weapons, keep one on board in US waters, etc. But international it's just way too risky. As the expression goes, "we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto...".
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Old 18-03-2011, 13:36   #9
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

Does anyone know if certain types of firearms are less likely to give you a headache? Example a shotgun vs Handgun, SBR etc etc.

Also is there any guidelines on the locker itself? Does it need a padlock slot for customs, entry etc?

An answer based on Personal experience instead of google searches would really be helpful.

I have been told by someone with no passage experience that the more "Military looking" the more hassle to expect, but by another sailing friend that they are all seen and treated as the same thing which conflicts even with noonsite's information.

I was planning on a Mossberg Mariner with a lockable secure locker hidden in a closet when the time comes.

Thanks a ton for keeping the thread alive with civility guys.
-P
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Old 18-03-2011, 13:40   #10
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I've gone into Mexico a few times with firearms onboard. Have never been boarded, but we'd see the Mexican Navy boats going about, boarding other boats. Just pure luck I never got boarded. I wouldn't do it again. The laws have strengthened against firearms over the years, not relaxed.

I've also had boats pull up next to me (coast guard, in particular) with no lights on, and them whammo they're 10' off your stern watching what you're doing. I imagine other nations with decent coastal security are capable of doing the same thing. In that case if you get boarded you don't have the time to ditch anything without being seen.

- former US Navy as well, for whatever that's worth. Always around weapons, keep one on board in US waters, etc. But international it's just way too risky. As the expression goes, "we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto...".
Exactly what I was looking for, Thank You. DW
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Old 18-03-2011, 14:18   #11
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patient View Post

I have been told by someone with no passage experience that the more "Military looking" the more hassle to expect, but by another sailing friend that they are all seen and treated as the same thing which conflicts even with noonsite's information.

I am guessing it might be similar to some of the "fees" upon entering. Depends on how they are feeling that day, how much they like you, how many cookies you have available (beer??), and whether they got any last night or expect to get some tonight. Humans are just human you know.
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Old 18-03-2011, 14:25   #12
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

DUCKWHEAT,

Have done almost 2 RTW's, would have been 2, but fire on first trip at boatyard ended that.

Anyway, always have cattied and always will.
Sometimes they will take it and return it on departure.
Other places will check weapon write down info and count ammo,
Always I will advise them I have a bonded locker and some will let me keep weapons on board in the locker.
On the subject of which weapons are some scared of, to pick one for example, Mexico, according to officialsm they don't like any Military caliber weapons, .45, 9mm, .308, .30-06, etc.
Never had any real problems except additional paperwork.
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Old 18-03-2011, 15:19   #13
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

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On the subject of which weapons are some scared of, to pick one for example, Mexico, according to officialsm they don't like any Military caliber weapons, .45, 9mm, .308, .30-06, etc.
Never had any real problems except additional paperwork.
__-
Where is Panamajames? He has a bit of real-world experience - starting with post 37 on this thread Caribbean Marina Suggestions ? and his noonsite report here Noonsite: Declare your Firearm or Face Jail

The rules mentioned above apply to citizens, not visitors -

From the Wikipedia entry
Quote:
Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives)[3]
Generally, citizens are restricted by law to:
pistolas (handguns) of .380 Auto or .38 Special revolvers or smaller in either case except the .357 Magnum, (357 SIG) or 9x19mm Parabellum
escopetas (shotguns) of 12 gauge or smaller, with barrels longer than 25 inches, and
rifles (rifles) bolt action and semi-auto.
Handguns in calibers bigger than those mentioned above are forbidden from private ownership.

In reality, for foreigners -
The US Department of State warns US citizens against taking any firearm or ammunition into Mexico without prior written authorization from the Mexican authorities. Entering Mexico with a firearm, or even a single round of ammunition, carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, even if the firearm or ammunition is taken into the country unintentionally.[4]

I wouldn't say you should or shouldn't carry firearms, just be well educated and have the *proper* attitude when dealing with your hosts. You are a guest, afterall.
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Old 19-03-2011, 08:22   #14
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

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Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
I am guessing it might be similar to some of the "fees" upon entering. Depends on how they are feeling that day, how much they like you, how many cookies you have available (beer??), and whether they got any last night or expect to get some tonight. Humans are just human you know.
We checked into 33 countries. We never had anyone demand a bribe nor booze (at check in. Our only booze/bribery incidents anywhere in the world were both tied to our Suez Canal transit.) But we were always VERY nice, usually offered sodas and sometimes snacks, and never carried much booze to start with. We found all the officials to be pleasant EXCEPT for the Americans. And if the American agents were nasty to fellow citizens, I imagine they must be awful to foreigners.

As for guns, we made friends with a cruising couple who was arrested in Indonesia. They had a weapon onboard and declared it, but were still arrested because it was illegal to even bring a weapon into their waters. It took serious help from the US consulate to get them out.
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Old 19-03-2011, 13:23   #15
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Re: Has anyone actually sailed with firearms

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Originally Posted by ChristiGrab View Post
We checked into 33 countries. We never had anyone demand a bribe nor booze (at check in. Our only booze/bribery incidents anywhere in the world were both tied to our Suez Canal transit.) But we were always VERY nice, usually offered sodas and sometimes snacks, and never carried much booze to start with. We found all the officials to be pleasant EXCEPT for the Americans. And if the American agents were nasty to fellow citizens, I imagine they must be awful to foreigners.

As for guns, we made friends with a cruising couple who was arrested in Indonesia. They had a weapon onboard and declared it, but were still arrested because it was illegal to even bring a weapon into their waters. It took serious help from the US consulate to get them out.

That is good info.

Thanks. I guess we only hear about all the bad officials and stuff.

I am also very sad to hear that the American officials are not good. Very sad indeed.
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