Welcome the the community. I'm also a new member
. I struggled with the firearm issues as well while traveling. I was given good advice which was to not bring a firearm and bad advice which was to hide shells in my ballast. I fell somewhere in the middle. I ended up keeping a 12G in my cabin
that never left its location and a side arm as a BUG. Each time I declared the arms and was told they couldn't leave the boat. My experience was the Bahamas
, T&C, and & P.
Given the rise in incidents of boats being boarded from 2011 to 2013, I felt more comfortable having them onboard than not.
That said, they're a risk and tend to only bring trouble if not handled by knowledgable, well trained handlers. If you do bring some, don't let them be the expensive kind. Also, keep an inventory of ammunition and accessories.