Mass Maritime Reaches For Their Guns

“Fire two rounds,” orders Capt. Brad Lima. A group of Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets shoot, aiming at cardboard targets on the campus range.

It’s not combat for which they’re training – it’s defense against piracy.

Students at the Academy are now being taught how to use handguns for the first time in the century-long history of the school because of the record number of pirate attacks, 293 of them, around the world last year. The 9mm guns are on loan from the Bourne Police Department.

Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon, MMA President, says, “This is just a small piece of the 4-year baccalaureate degree-granting program that we offer here, but the backbone to all of it is safety.”

Full story and video: Mass. Maritime Reaches For Guns To Prevent Piracy

Man that cadet has 7 bars, that’s rediculous!

Maine Maritime has/had a .22 only range in the basement of the dorm. Pistol and rifle. Good practice.

On the other hand, unless your working for the gov’ your not going to have weapons on the ship anyways…

[QUOTE=CMA_Decky;10371]Man that cadet has 7 bars, that’s rediculous![/QUOTE]

I think that means he’s seven times more important than I ever was or likely will be. :cool:

Yeah, our corps CO only gets 6 bars. Guess mass kids are just more important than the casual maritime kids.

CMA, now I follow what you were saying about 7 bars… Thinking back a few years, I think I remember something being said when Mass came up to Maine for a football game to the affect of “WTF, what’s 7 bars mean? and does the regimental commander have to salute HIM!?” :slight_smile:

When I was there 10 years ago, the RC has 6 bars. Of course the regiment has changed dramatically since then.

The pistol range was in the Gym back then. I am not sure where they would have been in the dorms. They had a rifle team and it was all .22 caliber hand guns and rifles.

9mm training seems a bit pointless at the cadet level. Most ships that I know of are either unarmed totally (I don’t count wrenches and baseball bats) or have a few shotguns and maybe some sort of revolver (kept in the captain’s safe unloaded and useless). The MSC chartered ships have 9mm et al, but then again, you need annual gun training to carry them, so the certificate is basically expired soon after any recent grad would arrive on board, and they still would need training in the other weapons.

I think that small arms training should be given post-graduation, and in the weapons that they will be actually given. Just my opinion though.


yeah we get small arm training along with training with ak 47 assault rifles and AR 15’s. i think its a good resume builder/ it gets our cadets somewhat familiarized with weapons so that if your not carrying a weapon for self defense on a ship but happen to take on off a dead pirate you might know how to point and shoot properly.

We, MMA cadets, most certainly do not receive small arms training as a standard class. To recieve small arms training you must sign up for the night class, offered once a semester, and only around 20 cadets can get into each class. Since there is rougly 1300 students now at MMA with a 4-5 year average for graduation, well you do the math.

Maybe the news article mentions this but I haven’t been able to open the link.

Can we suddenly carry guns at sea now? A lot of captains are going down if some AB’s get a hold of one. Only security teams get guns and they are all x military people.

[QUOTE=mchuck;102582]Can we suddenly carry guns at sea now? A lot of captains are going down if some AB’s get a hold of one. Only security teams get guns and they are all x military people.[/QUOTE]
very few flag states allow it and even less flag states allow a foreign vessel in their water with guns.
Hence the hired guns join your vessel at sea do the required protection then leave at sea
Insurance companies are agreeing to this as it on the high seas.

next you need to check your flag states law on piracy.
Only Malaysia as far as I know has the death penalty and some of the somali dumbo’s tried to pirate a Malaysian vessel and it just so happened the Malaysian navy was on the scene so they got free cruise back to Malaysia and had their necks lengthened.

Yes, don’t forget the Ocean Atlas incident. Port states can get very ugly over firearms even if in a locked security safe.

Of course that may have been the late Mr. Chavez doing a little posturing before he took deathly ill.

But I don’t see average seafarers being allowed to lock and load anytime soon.

Not to mention you always need to pull the biggest and the most guns otherwise dont shoot back or you will lose.

I know there is a law on the books that says ships in U.S. waters are permitted to carry guns (it might be U.S. ships only, I’m not sure) for security reasons but what company allows you to have a firearm on board anyway? Also, for that matter, what insurance company would insure a vessel knowing that there could potentially be firearms on board. I’d sleep a lot sounder tied up to certain docks in certain ports knowing that there were a few hand guns and a few shot guns around if need be but I don’t know of any ships or any companies where this is the case. If I am wrong about this I would love to be enlightened. It might strengthen my faith in humanity.

navy boats quite often have guns…

I know my buddy was a mate with mearsk and they have security teams some of there boats that go to the earths sand box. They have to throw the ammo and/or guns overboard at some point during the voyage. Obviously, for the fact that they cannot have guns when docked in port.

Your friend is pulling one over on you, or is uncertain of his vessel’s security protocols. We keep the weapons and ammunition locked up in a safe when in port, this is checked in every port over there. They are only allowed out of the safe when underway. (this is documented in a letter from the Dept of State) When transiting the Suez, we transfer the weapons and ammo to the Egyptian Army for overland transpo and they are delivered back at the end of transit. Security team either boards southbound as you are disembarking the last pilot, or depart northbound as you embark the first pilot. The way we have to account for all of the gear, seems both foolish and a waste of money to just “toss them overboard.”

Our firearms, ammo and combat gear for security team members are issued from a secure locker. Tossing them overboard? Nope, never. Always been assigned to a team, training once a year with drills three-four times a year. Ships are better off having a military detachment aboard for this duty from my observation.