Skip to main content

Columnist tackles confusing on-board firearms laws

Recent news items and an everyday question Floridians ask law enforcement officials involves the carrying of weapons, specifically firearms, on sailboats, yachts and other seaworthy craft capable of entering international waters.

Authorities are regularly asked what the legal implications are. And the answer is that it's complicated, Craig Agranoff writes in a blog for the Huffington Post.

"Sadly, many legal issues we might take for granted as Floridians and Americans are non-existent or so confused as to be generally ignored once a vessel enters international waters," Agranoff writes.

In international waters, vessels flying an American flag are subject to U.S. laws. But once they enter another country’s coastal waters, which can extend as far as 24 miles off the coast, they fall under the laws governing that country. For example, an American vessel entering coastal waters in Mexico would be prohibited from having firearms, except by special permit. (There are exemptions, such as a boat's emergency flare gun.)

Even in domestic waters, the law changes as you enter and leave each state’s jurisdiction. That's why many yachts carry no weapons beyond flare guns or non-lethal water cannons.

Related

1_DEALER.OUTLOOK

Alleged Tournament Cheats Face Possible Legal Action

Approximately 8 pounds of lead was found stuffed inside fish entered into the contest by two men from Pennsylvania and an Ohio.

1_BOATHOUSE

The Boat House Group Announces Merger

The transaction will add two Wisconsin dealerships and several sales, storage and service locations to the group’s portfolio of properties.

1_GLBBS

GLBBS Breaks Ground on Tech Center

The Michigan-based marine trades school will commence construction of a 10,000-square-foot training facility in the second quarter of 2023.

1_AVIKUS

Avikus Debuts Autonomous Navigation

The company will demonstrate ‘Neuboat’, an autonomous phase-2 navigation solution for recreational boats at this year’s FLIBS.

1_IAN_ROUNDUP

Scope of Ian’s Devastation Emerges

Southwest Florida’s marine industry businesses are ensuring the welfare of their people well before the cleanup even begins.

1_MERCURY.MARINE

Mercury Marine Receives Environmental Award

The company was recognized in the large business sustainability category by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.