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Old 24-06-2024, 14:20   #1
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Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Not interested in a debate here just seeking some information- a bit of background- i was aboard a boat that was boarded by armed robbers while at anchor in the middle of the night - we fought them off thru luck and some skill. We were not armed with any type of firearm- the robbers were armed although their pistol misfired 3 times which is the only reason that i am here to write this. It was a miserable experience and changed my ideas about guns aboard- i have since altered my boat significantly to make getting down below to us almost impossible but i never want to be in that position again. I have since been contemplating carrying a pump action shotgun aboard. Gun would never be taken off the boat and would be carried in a locked SS gun cabinet. i am interested in hearing from cruisers that do something similar and what issues if any that they have run into (country specific personal knowledge please). I am absolutely NOT interested in hiding or not declaring the gun from authorities when checking in. I do not want to break any other country's laws or engage in any criminal activity in relation to keeping the gun aboard and "forgetting" to tell them about it. i want to cruise in the Carribean islands and would appreciate any info/advice as related to above. please do not waste time telling me to just be careful etc etc-- been there done that, starred in the movie and the sequel. Thanks
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Old 24-06-2024, 14:21   #2
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

one other thing i forgot-- boat is US flagged and all aboard are US citizens.
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Old 24-06-2024, 18:01   #3
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Just FYI: this thread will probably be locked soon. Discussions about firearms haven't gone so well in the past.


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Old 24-06-2024, 18:24   #4
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

I have only researched Bahamas gun laws, which permit certain types and a limited amount of ammo. My prior boat came with a beautifully crafted walnut gun locker to specifically fit a Mossberg Mariner, which is apparently a SS 12 gauge. I'm not a huge fan of guns, but I grew up hunting and considered bringing one. Ultimately decided against it. I know that many islands prohibit guns entirely so I think you'd be fairly limited, especially on the British/French/Dutch islands. Obviously Turks as that poor guy learned last month.
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Old 24-06-2024, 18:50   #5
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

We sailed the Caribbean with a shotgun aboard for 15 years and never had any trouble. They never even sealed the gun locker even in countries that are supposed to collect and store your gun during your stay.

The important factor is that it is a shotgun, not a rifle and not a handgun.

Where you can have trouble: Bonaire, I skipped it. Mexico, I skipped it. For the rest simply report it when asked. If they start asking questions, say it’s secured in a gun locker and that was enough every time for us.

If I would go to Mexico, I would vacuum pack the shotgun and hide it on a reef on the way in, then pick it up again on the way out.

In the Bahamas we can take three guns incl. shotgun, rifle and handgun and a maximum of 250 rounds for each gun. Also, .308 maximum power caliber.

Handguns are often problematic because they can be easily concealed, but not in the Bahamas. Also a tip: take the shotgun to your local CBP office, leave it in the car, go inside and ask for a form 4457. They will come out with you to check the serial number and you get a form proving you took the gun abroad from the US so that you never get trouble bringing it back in.
Edit: and you hold the only copy of that form, there is no register.
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Old 24-06-2024, 19:45   #6
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

ATF has some info: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/traveling-firearms
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Old 24-06-2024, 19:52   #7
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Glad you got realistic info before the anti brigade shows up. Travel outside the US with guns is like travel inside the US in the sense that you need to make an effort to understand the laws where you are going. Most places will be more restrictive than most of the US, especially in regards to handguns and rifles. For adults who can read this is not generally an issue, and as long as you have a locker and are not attempting to bring in prohibited items you should be fine.
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Old 25-06-2024, 03:50   #8
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

I hesitate to post this link, because the specific information [therein] is so old, as to be [undoubtedly] out of date, and wrong, by now.
However, the discussion may provide readers with an idea of the type of firearms regulations, one might encounter, when cruising.

“Firearms Regulations by Country”
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f57/firearms-regulations-by-country-1641-3.html#post8635
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Old 25-06-2024, 06:29   #9
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

The problems I have read about regarding the Bahamas is not reporting, or incorrectly reporting the exact amount of ammo. Don't misreport or miscount.
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Old 25-06-2024, 06:36   #10
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Depends on exactly where you want to go. The only consistency in firearm laws is there is absolutely no constency. That means the biggest challenge is finding out what the firearm laws are where you are planning to go. They can range from simple declaration and safe storage (Bahamas) to you will be arrested and put in prison for illegal importation of a firearm.

Some countries while you 'can' have a firearm are defacto impossible for a cruiser. They may require you obtain a local permit and that process may take 30 to 180 days. You must have the permit in hand prior to importing the firearm. This may work for expats but it won't for cruisers.

So how difficult really comes down to exactly where you are going. Bahamas? A non-issue just make sure you declare it properly and have safe storage. Columbia? No possible legal option.

Your idea of a shotgun is a good one. It is the weapon least likely to go "missing" from lockup. Don't get some fancy expensive tacticool shotgun either. Get the most basic boring cheapest (but still reliable) shotgun you can find. Some countries are going to impound the weapon until you leave. The more exotic or valuable your weapon is the more likely it will vanish if required to impound it. Also keep in mind that firearm laws vary radically and often nonsensically stuff like folding stocks or other tacticool options could make it a "military weapon" in a given country and subject to immediate seizure and destruction. Hedge your bets by going as basic and boring as possible.
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Old 25-06-2024, 07:04   #11
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Good thread. Wife was just asking me if we could take a gun as she read some things that distressed her recently.

I said probably shouldn’t.

But I do want to take some slingshot type spearguns for fishing.

Are those considered guns?
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Old 25-06-2024, 07:15   #12
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pianopraze View Post
Good thread. Wife was just asking me if we could take a gun as she read some things that distressed her recently.

I said probably shouldn’t.

But I do want to take some slingshot type spearguns for fishing.

Are those considered guns?
You would need to provide more details.

For example:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...egal-9397.html
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Old 25-06-2024, 07:20   #13
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Thanks to all that have replied so far Gord I read your old thread prior to starting this one and appreciated it but was worried about the age of the information too. Jedi your experience was exactly the type of info I had hoped for. While reading up on various countries l found that slingshots and spearguns are also commonly proscribed in countries that have restrictions. Agree with the idea of a basic plain no frills pump action shotgun. I don’t want to ever show it off I just want it to work if I have to have it.
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Old 25-06-2024, 07:21   #14
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pianopraze View Post
Good thread. Wife was just asking me if we could take a gun as she read some things that distressed her recently.

I said probably shouldn’t.

But I do want to take some slingshot type spearguns for fishing.

Are those considered guns?
Depends on the country.
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Old 25-06-2024, 07:28   #15
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Re: Firearm aboard- is it Difficult? Limiting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron E View Post
You would need to provide more details.

For example:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...egal-9397.html
Bookmarking this thread now.

Thank you.
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