I've wondered what the rules for bringing a firearm offshore to deal with sharks are. I'm assuming once outside the 3 mile line only federal rules apply, but what does everyone else do? Also, what's the recommended caliber of choice?
We carry quiet a few and have never had a issue. I can say they don't like Handguns. The best for Sharks is a 30 cal. rifle or 12 ga. slug. for safety single shot guns are best. For defence the minny 30 is good. Also the SKS is reliable and will get someones attention. Some use the 410 this is good because with slugs has almost the same muzzle volocity as a 30/30. We also run a large sportfisher and I have several gun cabinets so they are not just laying around. Also be sure to let the C/C know they are on board better to tell them about them before they find them. If you run a small rig I would keep it in a case sprayed with WD 40 or silicone.
I have never had an issue. Defienatley tell the coast gaurd if they board you. I was bored a few times last year and it is the first thing i disclose to them when they boarded me in the past. as far as hand guns go i do not know i dont deal with them. I have even brought the gun to the bahamas the rule in the bahamas is the wepon is not allowed to leave the boat. and you declare it when you clear customs and the # of shells on board.
Mike M nailed it about shotgun.I never used anything
I will add:
Use a slug, less chance of shooting leader.
Note it is not the slug that is calming it is the point blank blast that throws their nervous system out of wack.
This is what I use - 40 caliber MP5 - 30 rounds of 180 grain Hydrashocks. I apologize for the sound quality it is a cell phone video.
Just kidding - I got an old 16 gauge single shot, spray painted it black, adjusted the barrel length to a more manageable 19" and if I drop it overboard no great loss. I usually use slugs but if it is free I am not picky.
We have discussed firearm regulations for fishing on this board a few times over the last year or so - just do a search. I contacted the State Police about it and got a response that I posted here, maybe 8-12 months ago. Someone else raised the issue more recently that the State Police don't have jurisdiction further out in the EEZ waters, so Fed laws apply, and I don't think there was any resolution on that.
Bottom line, with the state laws, my (non-lawyer) interpretation is yes you can take your firearm of choice on the boat and use it to dispatch sharks, as long as you are otherwise fishing legally (size limits, species, etc.) and following the other regs about transporting firearms (unloaded during transport, etc.).
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