Guns on Boats?

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Thread: Guns on Boats?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Guns on Boats?

    So the wife and I are looking at retiring in 5 years, buying a sailboat, and going sailing while we are still young enough to do it (We will be 55 then). So my question is, can we keep our pistols on the boat when visiting say Massachussetts? The boat would be our home, and keeping a pistol in one's home is legal in Mass without a carry permit. So would we be legal, as long as the pistol conforms to the state's gun laws? Obviously we wouldn't be able to leave the boat while armed in Mass.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Mike
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    Member Array lilrinn1019's Avatar
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    MA law requires that u have a permit to own a gun

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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Hmm, did not know that. Will have to look into things more.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    Maybe thats why John Kerry parks his boat (yacht) in CT? It had nothing to do with taxes.

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    You need a special card to have a gun in your possession in MA. When you're off the coast of Somalia, I recommend a 20mm, or at least a 50.
    Eaglebeak likes this.
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    Guns, boats, and extensive traveling do not mix well.
    You will be searched at will and held accountable by laws within the limits of wherever your boat is moving/docked.

    This is a topic that requires LOTS of research to stay out of jail and retain ownership of your boat.

    Hopefully, ELCruisr will drop by...he's done exactly what you're talking about. He and I and a few other DC members got together for lunch a few years back...interesting guy.

    I made a copy of his Bio... About ELCruisr
    Biography Cold war vet with 8 years service. Played with ICBM's on Uncle Ronnies Rocket Ranch in WY. Spent 12 years living aboard a 37' sailboat and traveled a lot with wife and son. After far too many years on land we are back on another boat. Currently cutting big pieces of wood into little pieces of wood and reassembling into big pieces of wood. Dieing to go back to sea.....
    Location Central FL
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    unless you are very well connected, wealthy or both...

    carrying a short bbl gun on a boat will likely cause you more trouble than it may ever save you.
    one may argue that if it saves you once , it is worth the trouble--but the legal trouble will more often
    occure before the 'trouble'

    inserts are made for flare guns to make them single shot (usually)38 spl. though getting caught with one of them
    may ruin your voyage. best to stick with flare guns (think about it...) and shark sticks ( 12 gauge blanks or 25 gram
    CO2 cartrages).

    study up hard as there are some laws in some jursidictions allowing shotguns and rifles.
    especially if your yacht supports a security crew.
    with all the people messing up in NYC and DC and airports, i doubt that many could get it right for a trip
    by boat further than across Lake Titicaca.
    Arthritis sucks big-big
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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    I ran a Swordfish boat of Southern California for a few years in the 80s. I kept a stainless Remington shotgun handy with slugs, as we paid for our fuel with shark and those suckers can lay on the deck all day and then try to kill you. On some of the many Coast Guard "inspections" many admired it, but no one gave me any trouble. I regret letting it go with the boat, but the ocean is where a stainless shotgun belongs.

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    Member Array kaboomkaboom's Avatar
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    My wife and I, and our two children (15 and 8 when we left) lived on board and sailed down the west coast, then the sea of cortez, then mainland mexico, and then the run to south pacific, new zealand etc...,we lived on board for over 4 years...I am not going to discuss if we carried a gun or not or any other methods we took around the world to secure our persons and our boat, but if you want input from someone who actually did it, PM me your e-mail...I actually leave Feb 1st for a couple week delivery of a sailboat, so I might not reply until after then...I absolutely LOVED living aboard and I bet you will too.. though I didn't care for the east coast except for a short period when it was warm but not yet hurricane season!!if you head out cruising at 55, you will be one of the younger couples too!!...Just like we were in our mid 40's...If you contact me or not, ...fair winds and following seas!

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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    I hear it's really easy to lose your guns on boats
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    Mossberg makes a Marine tactical 12ga. in Stainless. Comes in a watertight cylinder case. Perfect for boats. Every time I've been boarded by the CG only once did they secure my pistol and never did they ask to see my CC permit. The other just asked what I was carrying and where it was. They were more interested in counting life jackets and fire extinguishers.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Kaboomkaboom, just might be headed south pacific way myself in the next few years on a permanent basis.

    Having not updated my profile in a long time I've actually been living aboard 16 years now, way too much on the east coast. Some in the Caribbean.

    First off lets clear up a misconception. On your boat, even though you live there, in the eyes of the law you are in a vehicle, just like a car. It is not a home in the eyes of law enforcement, only the IRS. Where it used to be federal maritime law trumped everything on the coast they have wussed out in favor of state law a few decades ago in any state waters.

    So, in MA the law you would be up against while living on your boat would be like having a gun in your car. Not good. Known of a few cruisers who got crossways with the law just travelling through up that ways over the years.

    In general, east coast cruisers either don't carry a weapon or avoid MA and NJ like the plague. It's not hard to do because they really don't offer cruisers much of a draw anyways. The NJ coast is shallow with notoriously bad entrances and MA is, well, MA and an expensive place at that.

    Forget the inserts, they will land you in jail just about anywhere. Forget anything that looks "tactical" outside the US. Even in the US that will get you some grief from some enforcement types. I had a DEA/Customs team have a fit just because I had multiple weapons on board but then too many of those guys are wound a little tight.

    Bang sticks are considered firearms in some places and just having undeclared ammo in a foreign clime is a no no. Some countries are OK with some things others are not.

    Hurricanes can be dealt with by smart mariners, I've weathered nine including a little soire' known as Andrew. Beats living on land when one comes in as the smart mariners who know how to prepare for one always fare better then the folks on land. Afterward you might like a firearm around though, I sure did.

    Your biggest challenge if you choose to keep it on board is corrosion. Even kept down below the salt atmosphere is murder to deal with. Think sealed case with desiccants. For the ready weapon a thin plastic bag with desiccant for the well oiled (but not in the bore) pistol is good. You can pick it up, tear the bag and go. A marinized shottie is by far the best marine defense weapon. They still need some care but fare much better and would be more useful. They also will get more acceptance outside the country then a handgun in many places.

    Some people create hideaway compartments when they travel and don't declare. Your call but spending years in a third world prison if found ain't much fun. Also, if you leave the country be VERY aware of ammunition limits. In many countries they are suprisingly small and one extra round will get you a charge of gun running.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to talk further about living aboard or the whole defense thing on the water. Honestly in 16 years I've never needed one but I still have them. I've been more scared of the law enforcers then the law breakers.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    Some people create hideaway compartments when they travel and don't declare. Your call but spending years in a third world prison if found ain't much fun. .
    I fished mainly in the Santa Barbara channel, off Southern California. The frequent inspection by the Coasties was mainly to look for drugs, as ships drop things for boats as they pass through. They would measure bulkheads and decks, and were quite thorough looking for hidden compartments. I did get a "warning" once as my vintage RDF unit would receive frequencies that they said I wasn't allowed to locate. I told them that was an issue for a judge to determine and that was the end of the story. I did get used as an interception target often by Naval aircraft, but it probably had more to do with my radar then the RDF which was rarely used. Basically, in U.S. coastal waterways you should be fine, but in the harbors it depends on the locals. Talk to a maritime lawyer in your region.

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