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  1. #1
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default firearms aboard your boat

    does anybody carry a firearm aboard your boat? just curious, I go out fishing in the gulf usually 7-20 miles offshore and I most always have a firearm with me. just wondering if the law differs offshore because of the coast guard any help would be great thanks! also I live in florida

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Commander SgtMaj's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    I wouldn't go offshore without one, or at the very least, a fake one that could scare someone off.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    I dunno about the fake one. That could be worse than no weapon at all. If somebody points a gun at me, fake or not, I will assume he is going to shoot me. Then I will retreat.....or shoot back--first!

  4. #4
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    i sent this question the the Coast Guard, here in Jacksonville, a while back when this subject came up. also to the State. i have recieved no answer from either.

    I would not be there without a way to protect myself, and my property.
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  5. #5
    Moderator aspeck's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Don't know about offshore, but on our lake I usually have one ... snakes and pesky critters take warning. And during hunting season, there is ALWAYS several on board!
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  6. #6
    Admiral ziggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    i don't even own a weapon. but if i thought was gonna go out on the salt pond. i think i might seriously consider obtaining one. there's just too many crazy folks in the world today and it's not like ya can just call 911 when yer out a long ways. even the boating i do i've considered it. the missouri river can be real lonely when i'm camping on the riverbank. might not see a boat for hours on end...... no police there either...... i've no idea what the rules are. but i'd think as an american with the right to bear arms. that'd be, end of story. as for the costies, bet they assume yer armed when approaching any vessel......

    i don't think the fake weapon idea is the way to go either, sorry sgtmag. this day and age, just the sign of a weapon, might initieate someone with a real weapon to lock and load...... which is moments from an incident......
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  7. #7

    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    I'm in Alabummer. A few weeks ago I was next to a couple of guys with a patrol boat at the filling station. I ask them about this. The Alabama fish and game guy said no problem as long as I have a concealed weapons permit. The other guy was a marine patrol officer with the Army Corp of engineers. He spoke up and said if I were in corp controlled waters (ie: Lake Eufaula), I will be arrested and taken to jail if I'm carrying a firearm on the boat, permitted or not.

  8. #8
    Captain Drowned Rat's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Obviously it's not against the law to carry a weapon offshore. If boarded, the Coast Guard will ask if you have any weapons on board. They will insist on taking control of the weapon no matter how you have it secured. They will give it back to you unloaded and "safe". Occasionally they will run serial numbers to verify ownership (or at lease verify it's not stolen or been used in a crime) and if it's an illegal weapon or you are an illegal owner, they will keep it.

    The only people that ever gave me a hard time about this were cops. They never wanted to give up their weapons and would argue till they were blue in the face. They always gave in when they finally realized we weren't going to leave.
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  9. #9
    Senior Chief Petty Officer guy74's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Here is some regulations to look at.
    Places with Federal Restrictions on Firearms? Last Updated 12/17/07
    1. Federal Courthouses*
    2. Federal Buildings*
    3. Any Building Owed, Leased or Rented by the Federal Government. This includes buildings in National Forests that are property of the Federal Government. There is no Federal Law that prohibits carry in National Forests. States control the carrying of firearms in National Forests in their state.
    4. Federal Prisons*
    5. National Parks*
    6. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers* The Corp builds and runs flood control and navigation Dams.
    The Dam and grounds around the dam are Federal Property. Many State Parks are found around
    the Lakes and rivers Corps Dams form. The boundary between Corp Property and State
    Property is not clearly marked. There are also boundary lines in the lake between State and Federal
    waters. It is up to you to know these boundaries.
    7. National Cemeteries*
    8. Military Bases (Carry not allowed but some have shooting clubs. You can take firearms onto the Base to shoot. Check at each Military Post for specific rules on Shooting Clubs)
    9. Rented Offices, Any part of any building that the Federal Government has rented for Office space or work force etc. Just their offices or the part of the building they have control over. You can carry in the rest of the building if state or local laws allow.
    10. **Designated Federal Entity* – As listed below. These Agencies are a dark area in Federal Law that I can not find any information about their Offices/Buildings/Parking Lots and if they are covered under the same laws as Federal Buildings. I have found in their Rules and Regulations that firearms are not permitted on their premises. So they all have their own Regulations about carrying on their premises.
    11. Amtrak* Amtrak has its own rules that state: Items not allowed in Carry On or Checked Baggage,. Any type of gun, firearm, ammunition, explosives, or weapon. Large, sharp objects such as axes, ice picks and swords. Corrosive or dangerous chemicals such as tear gas, mace,
    12. Post Office?* Each states law is different. In some states, Post Office carry is restricted by the state, in others it’s not. If it’s not restricted by the state, Title 18, United States Code, Sec. 930 applies.
    13. Bureau of Land Management* If you can legally carry in the state the BLM land is in you can carry on the BLM land. If it is not legal the area will most likely be posted as no firearms allowed.
    Any building on the BLM land operated by the federal government is considered federal property and carry in those buildings is not allowed.
    14. Indian Reservations Carry on Indian property is controlled by Tribal Law. You must check with each tribe before carrying on their property. Some Indian Tribes consider federal and state highways through their property as under their control.
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  10. #10
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Interesting question. I know when two friends of mine who own two boats in the 50 foot range when they go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Bimini in the Bahamas they both have what look to be assault rifles on board to fend off Pirates

    One wonders if the trip over can be that dangerous why would anyone want to do it. Certainly, not chicken me

    What was that movie where this guy boarded this boat and terrorized the two people on it after seeing that movie that was the end of any future island hopping excursions on a private boat all alone out there on the high seas.

    I'll fly or take a cruise liner to the Bahamas and meet up with them in the Marina!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Yes,1 on the boat 1 in the car and 3 at home,

  12. #12
    Petty Officer 2nd Class LSUfan71's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Quote Originally Posted by angler53 View Post
    The Alabama fish and game guy said no problem as long as I have a concealed weapons permit. The other guy was a marine patrol officer with the Army Corp of engineers. He spoke up and said if I were in corp controlled waters (ie: Lake Eufaula), I will be arrested and taken to jail if I'm carrying a firearm on the boat, permitted or not.
    The concealed carry permit only deals with concealing a weapon on your person (ie in your clothing), nothing to do with a car, boat, etc. The other guy probly was lying to you about being a cop, judging by what he said. A boat is like your car, an extension of your home. Sounds like those two were pulling your leg.

    As long as the weapon you're carrying is allowed under local laws then storing it in your boat should be the same as keeping it in your car or home.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Quote Originally Posted by LSUfan71 View Post
    The concealed carry permit only deals with concealing a weapon on your person (ie in your clothing), nothing to do with a car, boat, etc. The other guy probly was lying to you about being a cop, judging by what he said. A boat is like your car, an extension of your home. Sounds like those two were pulling your leg.

    As long as the weapon you're carrying is allowed under local laws then storing it in your boat should be the same as keeping it in your car or home.
    From my perspective this is mostly true, but with a boat or a car being mobile, they are not an extension of your home, and can be "frisk" for weapons without a warrant if articulable reasonable suspicison exist. A home would require a search warrant in the same situation.

    In NC you would need either a concealed carry permit to carry it on your person or it would either need to be in a locked container or somewhere else that is out of your lung area. It could also be in plain view as long as it was not being pointed at anyone or used to imtimidate anyone. On Federal lands or state parks, basically they are not allowed with a few exceptions.

    Each state has different laws and you have to comply with each state. The vast majority of people who carry guns do so with out ever bringing attention to themselves or anyone knowing. If you are approached by any Law Enforcement Officers I would volunteer that I have a weapon and let them secure it. If you possess it legally you should get it back when they leave and you have already established that you are not hiding anything from them.

  14. #14
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    For offshore bluewater mariners carrying a weapon onboard makes perfect sense, but is it really necessary for inland and near-coastal waters in the US? IMO there's more potential trouble from law enforcement than criminals.

    For the last year or so I've been carrying OC spray (on and off the boat) to protect myself from someone who may want to inflict harm. It's legal just about everywhere and would allow me enough time to get away from the situation without resorting to deadly force. I like the Kimber "Guardian Angel" because it's got 2 shots and is effective over 10'. Every member of my family carries one.

    QUOTE (Expidia): What was that movie where this guy boarded this boat and terrorized the two people on it


    "Dead Calm" starring Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane. Good flick!
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  15. #15
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Ya that was it . . . Dead Calm . . . thx

    After seeing that I would not entertain any invites to Bimini.

    Having a weapon on a local boat is a joke. Only will invite an accident as some kid or a drunk on board blows someone away, IMO.

    My family carries pepper spray. They are available at gun shops for about $5 each around my area.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Federal law always trumps state and local. If an area is indeed federal land and is posted "no firearms", they mean it. On person, or not, doesn't matter.

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  17. #17
    Petty Officer 2nd Class LSUfan71's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Quote Originally Posted by arks View Post
    IMO there's more potential trouble from law enforcement than criminals.
    Please elaborate.

  18. #18
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus SpinnerBait_Nut's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Quote Originally Posted by LSUfan71 View Post
    Please elaborate.
    LSUFan, I think what he meant was trouble as in you are not suppose to have it and the find it.

    Offshore, maybe. Don't know, I don't go there.
    Not around here as most waters are Federal and the say no to firearms on land or water.


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  19. #19
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Well, that's true, but here's the real reason:
    Because the laws vary so much from state to state, and even town to town.
    Example: Here on the Chesapeake, Virginia is one of the most gun-friendly states, but Maryland is not.
    Example: You have a carry permit for Virginia (or Fl or Pa) and decide to carry your gun while boating. If for some reason you are boarded by the Maryland DNR police, your permit would not recognized by Maryland and you'd promptly be cuffed and jailed for illegal carry. Lawyers and money would get you out, but it wouldn't be pretty.
    To add insult to injury, after an incident like that, you'd probably lose any carry privledges you have from other states because you would've been charged with a felony!. It's sort of a catch-22.
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  20. #20
    Petty Officer 2nd Class LSUfan71's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Quote Originally Posted by crb478 View Post
    From my perspective this is mostly true, but with a boat or a car being mobile, they are not an extension of your home, and can be "frisk" for weapons without a warrant if articulable reasonable suspicison exist. A home would require a search warrant in the same situation.
    The term "frisk" refers to a safety check of a person for officer safety, a car/boat cannot be frisked.

    I think the topic of the thread was on the legality of keeping legal firearms on your boat, so that doesn't apply. Generally, a moving boat/car can be searched with probable cause to believe that an illegal firearm or other contraband is present, not on reasonable suspicion (there's a difference). I was speaking on the general premise that a boat/car not suspected of containing contraband is secure, as an extension of your home.

    To sum it up what I'm saying: an otherwise legal firearm stored in a closed storage area in a boat is not the same as keeping the firearm concealed on your person or in your clothing. In Louisiana, state law specifically forbids the concealing of a weapon on one's person.

  21. #21
    Petty Officer 2nd Class LSUfan71's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Quote Originally Posted by SBN View Post
    LSUFan, I think what he meant was trouble as in you are not suppose to have it and the find it.
    Ok then, I'm not really interested in discussing firearms violations, stay legal and you won't have a problem.

  22. #22
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus SpinnerBait_Nut's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    But if your stopped/boarded, I think it would be wise to advise them(officers), of said firearm.
    They get real cranky when they run upon one and don't know it's there. Makes them stop to think about the person then.


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  23. #23
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Your legal right to carry a firearm anywhere will depend on who has jurisdiction over the property your on, whether on land, on water, or in the air. The laws that govern your right to have a gun on your boat will be effected by not just State and Federal law, but also local county and/or municipal firearms laws, which may be more restrictive than the State or Federal laws. What might be legal on any given body of water may be illegal as soon as you tie up or dock.

    As a former cop (for 10+years), I was routinely asked "what type of gun should I buy for personal protection?". Most of the people asking me this question had little or no experience with firearms.

    My concern is not just do you have the right to carry a firearm, but SHOULD YOU carry a firearm, given your individual experience and TRAINING with firearms. The 2nd amendment allows people to own guns (and I have no problems here)... BUT...the 2nd amendment does not place any training requirements on people prior to gun ownership. Most States have little, if any, requirements for firearms training before anyone can legally purchase and/or own a gun. If training is required, most of that training has to do with firearm maintenance and learning which end of the gun the bullet comes out of. Most people who do train work primarily on their marksmanship skills rather than the decision-making process of the "shoot/don't shoot" variety required under the emergency situations most people imagine when they consider the need to carry a firearm. Even military training is inadequate in this regard because the average serviceman' training deals with wartime scenarios as opposed to peacetime civilian scenarios.

    The most important weapon anyone can have is their brain. Unfortunately, under stress and/or emergency situations, the brain seems to be the one thing that malfunctions first.

    I just thought I'd offer my $00.02 worth (okay....$00.05) and suggest there's more to consider than just whether you have the legal right to have a gun on the boat. (When doing so, however, also consider the land laws while carrying your weapon to and from your boat).

    BTW, my generic standard reply to people asking me "what's the best gun for personal safety?" (and my not knowing anything about the person) was always....a shot gun. Why? (they'd always ask.)

    1. It's intimidating (the picture of a shot gun and the sound of chambering a round gets everyone's attention).
    2. If your intent is to stop someone in their tracks, you do not need pin-point accuracy. You only need to be reasonably accurate to be effective.
    3. It's difficult to shoot yourself by mistake.

    My apologizes in advance for my re-directing the focus of this thread. This is NOT meant to promote a discussion on the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms.

    Have a happy holiday and healthy and prosperous new year.

  24. #24
    Lieutenant Junior Grade JCF350's Avatar
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    My son is in the Coast Guard and does boardings and we have discussed this subject. As long as you tell them you have a firearm and where it is they will "hold" it till they are done and return it to you unloaded. DO NOT TRY TO PRESENT THE WEAPON TO THEM!! Just tell them where it is at and let them obtain it from it's location.

    The very best weapon to have on board is a legal length short barreled shotgun with #5 shot (good spread, some range, good penetration).
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: firearms aboard your boat

    Thanks for all the replies! Moving to florida from chicago is a big change chicago being a city where you cant even own a handgun anymore and florida being anyone who wants a gun can get one. what florida requires for a concealed carry permit illinois requires just to get a foid card. Florida does require training for concealed carry ( just a weekend at a range and instructor) all being said you never know what will happen 20 miles offshore! I go by a saying..... its better to have a gun and not need it then to need a gun and not have it. I do not carry an ak47 with me! lol. i either carry a kimber 1911 or my xd 9mm.
    happy holidays

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