Case Underscores the Need For Owners To Understand Consequences at Home and Abroad

Two Americans were arrested recently for failure to clear into the Bahamas. Guns were found aboard their sportfish boat, which was promptly seized.

According to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the boat was found docked a a private home at Marsh Harbour in the Abacos. The vessel had not cleared Customs and Immigration.

According to the Abaconian newspaper, defense force and customs officers and found a high-powered air pistol with four canisters, a Ruger pistol, two magazines and over 600 rounds of ammunition.

“This marks the first arrest for the new year of individuals who have breached the laws of the country by the defence force,” Bahamian authorities said.

From the point of view of firearms possession by foreign boaters, Bahamas policies are pretty reasonable. Owners are expected to declare weapons and ammunition, which are to be kept in a secure locker. Police or Defence Force personnel, who subsequently inspect the vessel, will count the ammuntion to ensure weapons have not been fired.

Urban areas of the Bahamas have a problem with gun violence, and authorities naturally believe the weapons used come from the U.S.

As anyone who has taken the TrawlerFest "Guns & Governments" seminar will tell you, other jurisdictions including some states are far less flexible in their attitudes than The Bahamas. Here is the description for the upcoming TrawlerFest seminar in Stuart, Florida: 

Guns & Governments: Local Laws on the East Coast & Down Island with attorneys Todd Lochner and Greg Singer.

Thursday, March 8 at 8:30-10:30 a.m. 

First of all, let us say what this seminar is not about. It’s not about advocating for or opposing guns aboard cruising boats. This seminar is for the coastal cruiser who has already decided to carry guns or is leaning toward that decision. The fact is anyone who cruises the East Coast between Canada and the Caribbean will pass through multiple jurisdictions whose gun laws vary wildly. What is legal in Georgia might very well result in serious legal consequences in Massachusetts or Puerto Rico. This seminar identifies the places that can cause problems for even the most conscientious armed cruiser. Presenters Todd Lochner and Greg Singer, who practice law in Annapolis, specialize in maritime law. Attendees will receive a bridge card-style hand-out, which breaks down the differences in laws in an easy to understand format

Read more about TrawlerFest-Florida