Why aren't merchant ship crews armed?

Why aren't merchant ship crews armed?

This is a discussion on Why aren't merchant ship crews armed? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Just read the article about the American crew who were hijacked off the coast of Somalia by four guys. Seems to me one good assault ...

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Thread: Why aren't merchant ship crews armed?

  1. #1
    Member Array drs1457's Avatar
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    Why aren't merchant ship crews armed?

    Just read the article about the American crew who were hijacked off the coast of Somalia by four guys. Seems to me one good assault rifle could have prevented it. The article says that merchant ship crews aren't allowed firearms. How come?
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  2. #2
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    They are armed with water.
    They are allowed to use High Pressure Fire Hoses to defend themselves by attempting to wash armed pirates off the deck.

    I just heard that on TV yesterday.

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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Mainly because of laws in countries where they pull into port; many of them have very strict firearm laws, and it would be a massive hassle for them to deal with, as well as the outside chance of being accused of gun smuggling.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    I figure it has to do with two things: liability and foreign ports of call.

    Remember, once you get to within twelve miles of shore, you are no longer in international waters and the local law of the land is in effect. Since merchies are civilian ships, I suspect they have no practical right to be armed in the vast number of countries they visit. (One would think that various maritime law treaties would have covered this, but I wouldn't be willing to bet a tuna sandwich on that...)
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    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    Mainly because of laws in countries where they pull into port; many of them have very strict firearm laws, and it would be a massive hassle for them to deal with, as well as the outside chance of being accused of gun smuggling.
    Well that's an easy fix, we don't send our stuff to them. They can come get it if they want to buy it.
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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Insurance.
    I don't see why weapons can't be in a locked cabinet while in port.
    The solution to the pirates is a few dead pirates.
    Two Blackwater type security forces ride on the ships while in dangerous waters.
    Any inconvenience to the ship is outweighed by the months some ships have been held and the ransom paid.
    Small boat gets within 200 yards. Gone. Sunk. End of story.

    Anyone near my age will remember airline hijackings. They were almost a daily news story. Pay a ransom and everyone goes home. Why did they stop? We started killing hijackers.
    Reward crime, and get more crime.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array tankdriver's Avatar
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    International Maritime Law says no weapons.....

    Really sad, if they'd pay me, I could take my FAL and a case of 308. and keep them away for hours with no problems......
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I'm thinking there are enough guys willing to pay to go on a pirate "safari hunt." Wander around dengerous waters looking helpless and wait for the prey (pirates) to come.
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  9. #9
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    So do the ships need a CCW permit...Carrying Concealed Water?

    Arm the ships...time to start shooting back. Guns stop crimes.

    Also time to change Somolia (all of it) into a huge new port...
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    Sounds like some ingenious contractor should get to work on a joy-stick controlled water cannon system to be retrofitted onto the boats. Some operator can sit safely in a secure room and blast away. I am sure a great American mind can come up with a way to shoot high pressure water "shells" that would obliterate a pirate dow (sic).

    Additionally, since it is ok to shoot water at them, why can't we shoot frozen water at them. Say, 500 pound blocks of ice from about a mile away.

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    Sounds like they need to get some diesel fuel or oil and a match and just set them up in flames when they pull aside the ships. A good flame thrower will go a long ways compared to a stream of water.

    I did see on the news last night that one of the training facilities in our country for merchant marines is now training extensively with firearms and tactics of their new members. In the past it was just skimmed over, but now they are getting real range time.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    The owner of the ship was on the air and he said his crews are "Ordered not to put up any resistance." "That is just a way to get people hurt."
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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    What is really needed here are letters of marque. We don't need "unarmed merchant ships," we need privateers who can, by maritime law, kill pirates.

    Oh, and retrofitting a couple of Phalanx CIWS systems off of decomissioned Perry-class frigates onto any American-flagged merchantman...
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    Member Array Astute's Avatar
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    I WANT TO KNOW,******WHERE ARE THE F-18s???******. They could be there in minutes and "SOLVE" the problem permenantly.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astute View Post
    I WANT TO KNOW,******WHERE ARE THE F-18s???******. They could be there in minutes and "SOLVE" the problem permenantly.
    Busy elsewhere.

    And, when you consider the Somali coast is the size of the Atlantic Coast of the US...they'd have to be fairly close to get there in time to do anything.

    Personally, I like the "Letters of Marque" idea; set up a few "merchant ships" (anyone ever heard of "Q-Ships" used in WW1?) armed to the teeth, and sail 'em around hostile waters.

    Wouldn't even need CIWS's...I think a couple of Dillon Aeros would be a lot cheaper, and just as effective.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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