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Old 11-26-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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Gun or not gun

In Jan, I intend to cruise to Brazil. I'll pass thru many countries and Isles.
Some friends told me to have a gun on board and others to don't carry a gun.
Some experience ? Some idea ?
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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I'm onboard with the plan to carry a gun (bad pun there. Sorry) In many areas if you're caught with a handgun you're in deep pookey. The solution to that is to have a short barrel (18" is the legal minimum in our country.) pump action shotgun. Hopefully you'll never have to even think about pulling it out, but if you do you'll be glad to have it. Be sure to check the laws of the areas you're going to be cruising in to make sure you can carry even a shotgun on your boat.

As to what to carry for ammunition, I know many will recommend "00' buck. After many years of law enforcement experience I would suggest you consider #1 or #2 buck. Those have many more pellets, much less over-penetration but will do what you may need them to do.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:44 PM   #3
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While we carry a firearm on the the occasions that we go up into the more remote areas of BC, we are in compliance with Canadian regulations.

I would suggest finding out what the firearm requirements in Brazil and the other countries you are going to pass through are--- if you don't already know--- and then complying with them. We travel all over the world in the course of our Boeing jobs and while we are not dealing with firearms regulations we are dealing with customs and security officials on each trip with regards to our video equipment, and believe me they can be incredibly thorough and determined in their investigations and regulation enforcement if they choose to be. If they for whatever reason think you may be concealing something they will move heaven and earth to find it, and they eventually will.

A firearm is a lot more serious thing than a video camera, even a $100k camera like the ones we bring into the countries we visit. Given the risk involved in being caught in non-compliance with the governments of other countries and the potential penalties it's not something I would want to risk.

I certainly understand the concerns you've expressed and the initial reaction could well be to have a firearm for protection on board. What you have to do is balance that against is the potential risk to you and your boat if you're discovered to be in non-compliance with the firearms laws of each country.

I guess the way I would approach it, given my experience with the thoroughness of other nations' government agencies and inspectors and the seriousness with which they take foreigners' compliance with their regulations, is that if I really felt I needed to be armed to be safe while boating through these countries, and if the laws prohibited me from being armed, I would go boating somewhere else. Either a place where being armed is not something I felt I needed to be, or a country where being armed was allowed.

It's a decision only you can make, however. As Clint Eastwood would say, "Do you feel lucky?"
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alemao View Post
In Jan, I intend to cruise to Brazil. I'll pass thru many countries and Isles.
Some friends told me to have a gun on board and others to don't carry a gun.
----------------------------------

Well. . . not like we haven't beat this topic to death before!! .

But given that you will be traveling internationally, probably a little different than the previous thrashing.

As suggested already, a pump action shot gun with buck shot is a good choice. If you plan on keeping it on board indefinitely, a stainless model, will clean up nicely. I used to keep a S/W model 10 on board, but even wrapped in an oiled cloth it developed tiny rust spots. Be sure and check the laws they vary widely by country and we know one country, Venezuela, Seņor Chavez, who takes a dim view on gun toting foreigners transiting his ports.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
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If you are bound and determined to carry a firearm the suggestion of a shotgun is probably the best. This is what we carry in the floatplane and when appropriate, on the boat. It is legal in Canada which is the only "foreign" country we're concerned about. We bought it back in the 1980s when we started flying to the back country in BC's coast range and in SE Alaska. We selected it for the dual role of bear protection and wilderness survival and carry the ammunition appropriate to both requirements. We do not conceal it in either the plane or the boat. It's not on the boat long enough for rust to become an issue although we keep it well oiled and in a case. I have no idea if shotguns like this are still made. It is 12-gauge with an eight-shot capacity and an 18" barrel.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:54 PM   #6
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My nephew just picked up this gun, I think it would be a neat tool to have on board.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:13 PM   #7
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That's funny, I was just in the Marysville, Wa. store Saturday and looked at that very shotgun. I guess great minds think alike. I loved the gun and it comes with a removable shoulder stock as well. That's a very good price as it was $599 at our store.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:25 PM   #8
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That shotgun, or one very much like it, has been around for a couple of decades at least. We considered it when looking for a shotgun for the plane but rejected it because IIRC it is not legal in Canada. It does not meet the overall length requirement. While there are buttstocks that can be attached to shotguns like this I don't believe they count in Canada toward the overall length requirement. But I could be wrong on that.

At the time the pistol-grip shotguns were very popular for bear protection with the Fish & Game folks in Alaska because they are much easier to carry in the bush than a conventionally-stocked shotgun. But because of the Canadian requirements we went with the gun we have. In the couple of bear situations we have been in it has proved to be very effective.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:26 PM   #9
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I usually carry a gun or two onboard, But I would not risk bringing one, hidden or otherwise into a country where it is illegal. You risk confiscation of your boat and possibly being imprisoned.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:32 PM   #10
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In Brazil is forbid to carry a gun, but not the thieves.
What is the penalty in Brazil for carrying a firearm?
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:31 AM   #11
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Here's a link to a site that you can check country by country regulations..

http://www.noonsite.com/

I believe in having weapons, it's not my nature to think otherwise, but many international cruisers warn against it as the threat is low if you plan carefully and the risks of trouble in many countries is high. It can be argued either way so you still have to decide for yourself.

In the end if you do carry, I think it best to carry the cheapest, throwaways you would bet your life on...that way if you ditch them or they are confiscated...no big deal....
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alemao View Post
In Jan, I intend to cruise to Brazil. I'll pass thru many countries and Isles.
Some friends told me to have a gun on board and others to don't carry a gun.
Some experience ? Some idea ?
I hate to be a wet blanket here, but if heading to Brazil, then you need to be particularly careful, especially if you venture up the Amazon, as Sir Peter Blake, a fellow kiwi and a famous sailor found out to his cost. He tried to resist pirates boarding his exploration vessel and he was killed. Those in the crew who did not resist were not. 'nuff said, I guess - just be very careful....
World's leading sailor shot dead | World news | The Guardian

Sir Peter Blake murdered - One Sport News | TVNZ
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:29 PM   #13
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IMHO I'd recommend against a pistol grip shotgun. I was a cop for many years and was a firearms instructor. I've fired many pistol grip shotguns and they just about break your wrist when you're using buckshot. I'm one who doesn't mind the recoil of a .44 Mag handgun but hated firing pistol grip shotguns.

One thing to keep in mind if you're considering concealing a firearm from the cops/customs officers/etc. Firearms have a very distinctive odor. It's the gun oil, the smell of the ammo, etc.. A law enforcement dog will key in on it in a heartbeat no matter how well you think you've hidden it. And if it's that well hidden, how readily accessible is it to you if you need it to protect yourself.

Better to abide by the laws of the country you're going to travel through than risk time in a foreign prison and the possible loss of your boat or a hefty fine.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:10 PM   #14
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How about a large Army Navy surplus flair gun.

I saw some old ones that look like they could launch a rocket.

They look like small cannons. They are not considered guns.

At close range. Sure could make for a bad day for the bad guys.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:26 PM   #15
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Another cheap non-lethal and legal alternative is wasp spray. Shoots up to 20 feet and will definitely change someones attitude a bit.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:40 PM   #16
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Another cheap non-lethal and legal alternative is wasp spray. Shoots up to 20 feet and will definitely change someones attitude a bit.
yeah, piss me off enough for me to wanna kill you now..... remember you aren't dealing with rational people much of the time you need to defend yourself.

In the older days, many a Carribean cruiser would take a standard 25mm flare gun to a machine shop and have them make a stainless insert about 18" long that fit snug and was 12ga interior bore. Instant short barrel, 12 gauge shotgun and when separated with the insert in your tool box, etc....no one could prove disprove anything unless you had fired it before and they had a good forensic lab.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:31 PM   #17
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Most foreign countries require you to declare any firearms and/or ammunition. Once you do, if it's legal by their laws, they usually take till you leave. Lots of paper work and even more of a hassle when leaving from another port. If you don't declare and it is found later, the US Embassy will say you are on your own. In Aruba, they confiscated our spear gun. In Bonaire, even our flares, flare and spear guns had to be turned in. In Trinidad, it is illegal to wear camouflage clothing let a lone possess a gun as a foreigner. With the exception of the US, not many countries have gun friendly laws.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:39 PM   #18
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Why would they take a flair gun?
Can you carry those areal flairs?
The ones you hold and pull the string.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:52 PM   #19
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Why would they take a flair gun?
Can you carry those areal flairs?
The ones you hold and pull the string.
SD: You know laws, do they all make sense? Can't argue with Customs who have real guns.

On a side note and I did not make this up:

A few years ago I was boarded by the Columbian Coast Guard while at anchor. They asked if I had any guns aboard, when I replied no, he asked "why not"? He also said that the best defense was to fly a big USA flag (my boat is flagged in St. Maarten) as everyone knows that all Americans carried guns and were more than willing to use them. As we were in a dangerous place, he offered to let me borrow a gun for the night.

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Here's a pic of the the Colombian Coast Guard who were always polite and just doing their job.

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Old 11-27-2012, 05:20 PM   #20
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