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British Merchant Ships Now Permitted To Carry Armed Guards
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2011 8:04 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

The Brits have a long-standing history denouncing the use of guns; however, in light of recent pirate attacks on vessels off the Somali Coast, Prime Minister David Cameron is changing history. As of on November 6, merchant ships traveling through the pirate-ridden areas will be permitted to carry armed guards to protect vessel and crew from attacks.

According to an article on, England is one of a handful of nations to ban armed guards on their vessels. However, as shipping fleets begin to feel pressure from owners, vessel safety is moving to the forefront. reports, “The planned exemptions to Britain’s strict firearms laws could allow guards to carry revolvers, automatic weapons or even rocket launchers on board.”

Due to the strict firearm laws already in place in the UK, armed guards would require licenses for the weapons they would carry on board  and use of said weapons would be restricted to only the areas viewed as threats (Somali coast, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean), according to
also reports that it’s estimated that about half of the British fleet, approximately 200 ships, will want armed guards on board.

Read the full story here