How Should Firearms Be Transported In A Boat In 2023?

Reviewed By Boatsbuilding Expert

How Should Firearms Be Transported In A Boat?

The same rules that apply when transporting weapons in a car still apply: unload and case firearms before getting on or off the boat.

The action should be open or the gun should be disassembled, whichever makes the more than one firearm the safely loading.
Place the second unloaded firearm in the bow (front) of the boat with the muzzle pointing forward before boarding.
When hunting with others, the first person takes the bow position facing forward after the first gun is fired.
Next, position the second unloaded transport firearms in the stern (rear) of the boat, muzzle up.
The second individual then assumes the stern position while gazing backward. When unloading, repeat the procedure.

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The Three Goals of Proper Firearm Safe Transportation

The Three Goals of Proper Firearm Safe Transportation

Moving forward, we should understand why you would want to ensure proper transportation on a boat. Here are three major reasons for this:


You Want To Avoid Mishaps.

The first thought that most of our readers will have is that firearms should be transported properly in order to avoid accidents. This is a valid reason to be cautious with firearms on board, but it is not the only one.


You Want To Keep Others From Having Access To The Firearm.

Children on board will probably want to play with your firearms if you do have any. Apart from that, you should not give intruders or anyone else on the boat access to your firearms.


You Want Your Firearm To Be In Excellent Condition

If you do not properly store your many firearms and correct ammunition topic, you may be unable to use it when needed.

These three points will serve as the foundation for our tips on proper gun transportation. To provide a more complete picture, we will discuss the transportation of both guns and ammunition.

How Should Firearms Be Transported In A Boat?

How Should Firearms Be Transported In A Boat

Clearing The Firearm

Each firearm will have its own “clearing” procedure for fully unloading it for safe storage. If you own a firearm, you should know how to clear it safely. You should not own a gun if you do not know how to use it.

That being said, if you’ve recently purchased a firearm and don’t know how to clear it safely, here’s how it’s typically done:

Take the magazine out of the gun.
Pull the gun’s charging handle all the way back. If there are any rounds remaining in the chamber, they must be ejected.
Make sure the charging handle is removed and there are no live rounds in the chamber.Take your time with this step. If you haven’t fully retracted the charging handle, the round may not have exited the chamber. Furthermore, there could be a round stuck in the chamber that, despite being stuck, can still fire.
Visually confirm that there are no live rounds. Additionally, insert your finger into the chamber for tactile confirmation. To ensure that the gun is empty, instructors in the military usually advise pulling the trigger after emptying the chamber. While pulling the trigger confirms that the gun does not have live rounds, you should only do so in an area where you cannot injure anyone.
A shooting range is the safest place to test the trigger; if you are anywhere else, don’t do it because you could injure someone. Fire at the ground because the bullet may ricochet, and fire in the air because the bullet can remain lethal even at great distances.E
ngage the safety mechanism on your gun.

But Wouldn’t It Be Safer For Me To Keep My Gun Loaded?

If you’re carrying a firearm in case of an emergency, it may occur to you that transporting firearms loaded guns is preferable.

Perhaps, but even in the military, guns are NEVER stored loaded. To avoid accidents, all firearms are unloaded before storage.

Although unintentional discharge from shock or impact is extremely rare in firearms, it can occur. Besides that, if someone, particularly a child, obtains your gun, they may accidentally fire it.


Storing The Firearms On Boats

Storing The Firearms On Boats

Should You Take Your Gun Apart for Storage?

You should prepare your gun for storage once it is completely unloaded.

Water and dust protection

You’ll probably want to have quick access to your firearms in an emergency. This is why you should keep your gun in excellent condition in storage.


Your case should be lockable so that only you have access to the firearm.

Anchoring points

Points of attachment Because your boat will be bouncing around in the waves, your gun case is likely to fall overboard. To prevent this, the case should have some tie-down points.

Gun safes are more secure than gun cases because they are much more difficult to open. However, you are unlikely to find a gun safe that is both water- and dust-proof, so for the best results, combine a good gun safe with a good gun case.

Furthermore, in an emergency, you will have to spend more time opening your gun safe and removing the gun.

Some people prefer to disassemble their firearms before storing them. What you expect from your journey will determine whether or not you should do this.

If you are afraid of being attacked by pirates, you should not disassemble your gun. You should reduce the number of steps required to basic shooting skills a gun in an emergency, while keeping your gun unloaded and be careful other safety considerations

You may disassemble your firearm if you do not intend to use it during the journey. Disassembling is beneficial for storage efficiency and, arguably, adds an extra layer of safety. If there are no live rounds in your gun, it will not fire, assembled or disassembled.


Placing The Gun In A Secure Location

Placing The Gun In A Secure Location

Where should you put your gun once it’s in its dedicated case? Here are a few pointers:

The gun case should be placed in front of the boat.
The gun barrel should be pointing in the direction that the boat is moving. That is, the gun should be pointed away from you and your passengers.

All of your passengers should be seated behind the firearm.

If you own transporting multiple firearms, you have two choices:

Place other firearms next to the first one if you can do so safely. Make sure that all of your firearms are pointed away from everyone.
Alternatively, place the second firearm in the boat’s back compartment. The gun should be pointed in the opposite direction of the boat, away from all passengers. If you and a passenger are on your boat, the passenger should sit behind the gun and face the opposite direction of the boat’s movement.

If you are going to use a gun safe, keep it in a cabinet or cupboard where it will be out of sight but still easily accessible when needed.

What About Ammo?

Current online guides overlook one critical aspect of firearm transportation: ammunition. You’re probably bringing a firearm and ammunition with you; without the other, they’re useless.

Ammo should be stored properly because it can quickly deteriorate. Ammo should be stored in the following locations:


Ideally, you should keep your ammunition in the original packaging.

Arguably, properly storing ammo is more important than properly storing firearms. A gun cannot shoot without ammo, but ammo can theoretically shoot spontaneously without a gun.

Having said that, even if ammo does explode, it is extremely unlikely to injure you. When you pull the trigger on your gun and ignite the powder propellant, the expanding gas pushes the bullet through the barrel.

Gas exerts a significant amount of force on the bullet within the limited space of the barrel, significantly accelerating it. However, outside of a barrel, the effect of the gas on the bullet is diminished.

Furthermore, the primer at the back of the bullet must be struck at a right angle for a round to spontaneously fire.

Keeping this in mind, guns are safe when unloaded the boat , and ammo has an extremely low chance of exploding and injuring someone. So, when it comes to firearm transportation

Can You Carry a Gun on a Boat? Multiple Guns On Firearms In A Boat

Multiple Guns on firearms in a boat

We should also discuss the legal implications of carrying guns on a boat. The hunting laws differ depending on whether you are in US waters, international waters, or another country’s waters.

In summary, here’s what you need to know about firearms on boats:

If you are in US territorial waters. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects Americans’ right to own and bear firearms. However, national laws differ from state to state, so do additional research to determine whether there are any special cases or firearm safety rules in your area.
If you find yourself in traveling internationally in waters. You are in international waters when you are 24 nautical miles (27.62 miles) from any coastline. In international waters, you are subject to the laws of the one country in which your vessel is registered and the flag of which your ship is flying.
If you are in another country’s waters. The legality of gun ownership will be determined by the laws of that country

How Should Firearms be Transported in a Boat – Conclusion

Transported in a Boat

As long as you know what you’re doing, there’s nothing wrong with bringing a firearm on a fishing trip with basic hunting skills.

If driving the guns isn’t an option, or if you want to hunt from the watercraft, you can keep them on board. Simply clear and disassemble the weapons ahead of time, and keep them pointed away from the passengers at all times.

As a result, the answer to the question “how should firearms be transported in a boat?” is unloaded, with the safety safely carrying firearms, in a gun case or safe, and with the ammunition in a separate location.

Whatever your reason for bringing firearms on board, make sure to be responsible and follow gun safety procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Carrying a firearm is legal in most of the United States and in international waters. Legality in another country’s waters is determined by local laws.

Can You Have a Gun on Your Boat in International Waters?

If a vessel is registered or flagged in the United States, it is subject to US law, which allows individuals to own firearms.

Can You Shoot Guns on a Boat?

This will be determined by your location. Discharging a weapon from a boat may be permitted under certain conditions, such as turning off the motor.

Fred Apstein
Fred Apstein is a man of many talents. He studied at Sustainable Community Development and Royal Roads University, but what he loves to do is sailing, building boats, cooking seafood, and picking up the pieces when things go wrong! He's been in business for over 40 years with no refrigeration on his sailboats - that means food drying and pickling became necessary skills