Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Armed and Dangerous

Pirates, look out! Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey has introduced a bill in Congress that, if enacted, would give immunity to US merchant mariners who wound or kill a pirate in response to an attack.

The US Mariner and Vessel Protection Act would give the US Coast Guard the responsibility of certifying seamen's training and developing the specifics as to under exactly what conditions immunity would be granted. The bill also would direct the US to negotiate agreements with other countries which would grant immunity in their waters and be sure the US mariners are allowed into their ports with firearms aboard the ships.

The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Howard Coble of North Carolina, Don Young of Alaska and John Mica of Florida. Of course, the bill has a long way to go from introduction to passage and becoming law.