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Piracy bleg:

The VC discussions on anti-piracy policy in the last several days have raised the question of whether it would be a good idea for crews to be armed to resist the pirates. I invite commenters to supply specific answers to any of the following questions:

1. Which particular ports have rules against entry by a ship with firearms on board? Do these rules apply in territorial waters, so that a ship would not be allowed to enter a nation's waters while carrying firearms, and then transfer the firearms to a storage ship before proceeding into port?

2. Which specific shipping companies or maritime organizations have rules forbidding sailors to possess defensive arms? Are their other rules which generally forbid or restrict resistance to hijackers?

3. Which international laws, if any, might restrict or prohibit armed resistance to pirates? Does the legal analysis change if the pirates have a credible and well-known policy of not killing their captives?

3.5. What about the Law of the Sea Treaty, particularly articles 107 and 110?

4. What is the historical record about armed resistance to piracy by commercial ships?

5. In the past, when some arms have been allowed on ships, what kind of policies have been adopted to prevent mutinies or other misuse of arms? For example, having the guns locked in storage, with the only key in the possession of the captain? Were these policies generally successful?

Laws regarding military ships owned by a government are different; I am not asking about such ships. Only about ships engaged in commerce, or other non-government ships, such as private yachts.

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