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Old 18 Jun 2005
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Braindead - Since you asked,

"Is it acceptable in any other country?" Generally speaking, no

"Would your country be ok with a forgiener walking around with a gun licenced or not?"

No, not permitted here.

...But who cares about the laws elsewhere, thats not the point, they are what they are in the states, and although I don't happen to agree with it, no need to slag the guy.

I hear it all the time in this country, the trashing of all Americans for their governments decisions, its a knee jerk reaction. Almost half voted against their government.

Anyway, I still think a reply, less the political baggage & innuendo would have got us to the same place.

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Old 23 Jun 2005
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The legal concept behind carrying a handgun in the U.S. is only to use it to defend oneself or others against specific, generally life-threatening attacks. In fact, many Americans consider carrying a handgun a responsibility to society, and that failure to carry is tantamount to condoning violent crime. When you are in the U.S., some of the nicest people you meet will be carrying a concealed handgun, and you will never know it.

Guns are not the cause of violent crime in the U.S. The causes are social issues such as weak or non-existent families, alienation of youth from society, and an extreme policy of imprisoning people for drug possession and sales.

I carried a small PPK handgun throughout Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala in 1994. I probably would not do it again. I like to travel light, and the chances of needing it are too small. The chances of getting caught by the authorities, and the resulting penalties, are too great.

Kid, you will find Guatemala is a VERY different place than it was in the '80s. The military reasons are obvious, but also this is a very peaceful, friendly country, with an active economy, hard-working people, and close-knit families and communities.
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Old 23 Jun 2005
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Dear Kidcalavera,
Dont let a bit of slagging put you off posting on this most useful of forums, I think most people recognise you were just asking for advice. However, you admitted yourself in your original post that it would be a touchy subject so you shouldn't be surprised by reactions you may not like. Particularly on a subject involving weapons, as many travellers have a slight tendency towards hippy!
Good luck with your trip.



*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 11 Aug 2005
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Wow at the bleeding hearts.
Dont be so open minded that your brain falls out.
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Old 12 Aug 2005
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I would advise any treveler not to carry a weapon in Central America. Frist, odds are you won't need it. For example, in order to carry a weapon in Guatemala, you need a permit. If you are caught by the authorities without a permit, you will be in trouble. Most local recreational motorcycle riders don't carry weapons.
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Old 20 Apr 2007
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How about pepper spray if you must.
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Old 20 Apr 2007
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I was once ADVISED to buy a gun by border guards (as I was leaving Greece heading into Turkey). I said 'what about customs?' and the reply was 'put it in your sleeping bag when you go through customs, we didn't search you and noone else will!' True enough I could have got away with bringing it all the way to the UK but I never felt like I needed a gun. I didn't feel I needed one in South America when I was there and the only countries that I wouldn't want to travel through for risk of being shot are Iraq, Afghanistan and the USA.

There was a similar thread on adventure riders (wheres the best place to pack heat on a bike), and it had exactly the same effect of polarising political opinion between the 'we need a gun for protection' group (american) and the 'why on earth do you think that' group (rest of world). It seems to be that if you live in the USA then you do NEED to carry a gun for your own protection!!

I just hope that the gun culture doesn't continue to spread to other countries, it will be a sad sad day when people in europe start shooting each other en-masse.......
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Old 20 Apr 2007
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After twelve years of living in Africa, I spent two traveling around the states. Louisiana was my favorite state, along with Arizona and NM. (Drop me a line if you're traveling soon!) Reason being they were a bit wilder than other places. And that's why a lot of us travel. And that's why you'll probably love it here! The rules are sometimes more nebulous than they are in the West, or, are interpreted differently for foreigners.

In almost 30 years of traveling, much of it solo and in very out of the way places, I've never had a problem where I needed a gun. While living in bush in Kenya I would walk with a whip. Never needed it. When I returned to the US, initially I did sleep with a sheathed knife underneath my pillow. I've been traveling/living in Central America for over a year, and don't bother. I do have two dogs who would bark an alarm. But faced with a gang of bandito's, even if I had a gun I would be no match, and neither would my dogs. You take your chances wherever you are. And the places you're more likely to have problems is in the cities.

I will say that if you do have a problem and you are in jail, depending on the circumstances, don't count on the American (or British) embassies to bail you out. When I did have a problem (a border crossing issue in a military zone) the American embassy basically hung up on my friend who had a US passport, and the British embassy, though very nice and understanding, said they couldn't help. So, smuggle with extreme caution.

For spooking people off, you might want to carry some loud firecrackers. That should scare anyone away. I kept meaning to get some but... well, I've just never had any problems.
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Old 21 Apr 2007
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Firearms on trips?

As often happens with me, I have not read the entire thread, namely because I don't think that my input is sided with one opinion or another, but simply my experience.

When we travelled to Argentina and Chile, if you believed the Foreign office Website and fell for the South America stigma, as many of my friends and family did when we initially voiced our plans to travel, we would have travelled in a tank.

Truth is I agree with the adage that if you assume you'll find trouble you will. Its more a case of don't assume you won't than assume you will!!

I thought about a firearm for about half an hour but, like someone told me and another posted earlier, unless you know how to use it, and know you have no qulams about shooting someone else, aside from the legal ramifications, its likely the gun would land you in more trouble than not.

When we travelled, the only thing we carried for our own preservation was our common sense and my plain, full-tang survival knife. The latter was more for the unforeseeable rather than cutting throats, camm-ed up, in the dead of night breaking my girlfriend out of the guerilla jungle base!!
Actually just a tool to cut wood for a fire, gut a fish, dig a fire pit if we got stranded somewhere harsh... Once we got there, we soon realised that was pretty unlikely anyway.

I say, don't bother.
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Old 23 Apr 2007
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I mean no personal offence here, but cant you see why most of the world groans and rolls their eyes when you mention "Americans"

Sure, im not from your culture but I can't understand why anyone would feel the need to carry a gun. Especially when travelling.

I own a machette, axes and other offensive weapons that are fine at home but I would never consider carrying them on a bike for "safety"

Sadly, im groaning and rolling me eyes !

Leave the gun at home.

P.S. Revolver for guest use ???... What is wrong with you yanks.
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Old 24 Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by yoni View Post
It is a fair Q.

"Anyhow, I don't believe in such protection, if you come to a situation of self defence, the last thing is to draw a gun or a knife. It will be your end for sure,they will always outnumber you. locals will be against you in kind of revenge,and you will not have the time and language to explain your side, and the authorities will be insulted that you took the law and hunt you as well.
My suggestion is to ride thinking of passive defence, do not enter alone to suspected areas. do not ride at night and ask other travelers on what is ahead."

Ride safely

You couldn't have put it any better.

It's a shame people feel it necessary to use this forum to slag off Yanks rather than to get them to think twice about the whole gun debate.

Firstly, I would love to understand why there would be a gun for guest use? I take it for entertainment shooting cans, which I would have loved to be able to do as a kid growing up as a European.

Secondly, the whole second amendment thing stems from the independence struggle as insurance for a militia to fight future invaders. It seems that since this has been faded from the minds and replaced with the notion that it's for safety walking down the street as some sort of vigilantly. People taking the law in their own hands. That's why we pay too much for a police force. That's years and cross generational indoctrination for ya. Can’t believe that people still think that guns are not the cause of violent crime. Without weapons (including fists!) there is no violent crime. Like that bar story. If there were no guns there would be a black eye, not a lung missing. But this is all irrelevant to his first question.

So lastly, the quote says it all. I have had a few occasions where I thought I could have done with a weapon. Mostly right after the event with the adrenaline still flowing around. The more I travelled the smaller that weapon became in my mind. Currently I’m toying with that spanner idea. But even then, if you hit some dude on the head with that, you can be f*cked as much as stabbing the guy, depending on how hard you hit him off course. You could use it as a deterrent, but you are upping the stakes. I reckon good things happen when having a positive mindset. The opposite of that is fear of things going wrong.

But if your question is related to wildlife, I think you have a different trip in mind than generally discussed here. You’ll probably find that you’d be lucky to see any large wildlife that would warrant a weapon. And in that case they’d probably be hunted enough to know to stay away from you.
Regarding bears though (bit of a pet fear for trekking in their terretory for me), haven’t there been cases of guys with guns still being killed or attacked? Just wondering though….
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Old 24 Apr 2007
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I didn't have time to read through all the decent advice mixed with the self-congratulating drivel, and anti-Bush soapboxing. Bush is an idiot. Clinton was an idiot. Bush before him, too, was an idiot. Get over it. As a US citizen, without a criminal record, I will happily carry my weapons with pride. No, I will not show them to you, nor will I bully my way around with them. But, if I feel that you are threatening my or my family's life, during a purposeful crime against me (i.e.robbery/rape/attempted murder) then you better hope that you can overpower me because I will first warn you, and then if you continue the threat, shoot you. Simple as that.

The US second amendment has been left intact in order that we have the means to re-take our government if it gains a little too much power over the sheep that are also known as US citizens (come to think of it, could we currently be successful in such an endeavor...?)

That being said, living right on the US/Mexico border, I often see a sign placed next to the road on the way down to the crossing that states "Guns and ammo are illegal in Mexico" or something to that effect. Mexico would not hesitate to put a US citizen in jail for having even just a live bullet, in spite of the fact that it is acceptable for drug/human smugglers to be armed to the proverbial teeth. So with that, I have never, ever taken my guns across the border with me, nor will I ever do so. I would not even imagine trying to go further south with one, either.

I have read and spoken in person about many a successful extended journey by bike south of the US border. However, carrying guns is a personal choice, and one that you have to make yourself, and weigh the risks against the benefits. If it were legal, like in many of the US states, then I would say "go for it." But I can only imagine the mother of all bribes someone would extort out of you if you were caught in any of the countries.

BTW, Grant, I would never NOT go to Canada just because I couldn't take my pistol with me. Just as ridiculous someone might find me and my carrying of weapons, I, too find those people ridiculous whining that they couldn't take their guns into Canada, and thus did not go.

Please note: the difference between some of the obnoxious rantings I read on this thread and my opinion(s) is that I am not saying that I am right; it is just what I do and practice, and believe.
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Old 24 Apr 2007
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Interesting thread.

The United States fascination with guns is incredible.

School shootings, shooting at NASA you name it.

In just about all other countries the carrying of hand guns is illegal. In NZ the cops don't even carry hand guns, and the reason is related to perceived threat.

If you take a gun into a foreign country and get shot or land up in jail I'll be the first to tell you "it serves you bloody right"

I realize that this may upset some of you but: You yanks need to take a chill pill and get it out of your head that violent solutions to complex problems don't work.

In the mean time why don't you consider spending some more money on road safety training and defensive riding techniques. It ain't a gun wielding Mexican that's gonna kill you... It'll be a cage driver failing to give way at an intersection.
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Old 24 Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by Mike Stone View Post

Guns are not the cause of violent crime in the U.S. The causes are social issues such as weak or non-existent families, alienation of youth from society, and an extreme policy of imprisoning people for drug possession and sales.
So do you think that drugs are a good thing ?
Do you not think that drugs could possibly be one factor that destroys families, (a good friends son would habitually steal with violence from his parents to feed his heroin addiction)
alienates youth from society, (wasting there lives)
and selling drugs doesnt lead to other illegal activities ?
and is drug use/sales often involved with violent gun crime or not ?

Just my thoughts.....

There is no point carrying a weapon - if you need to conceal it to get through the many police/military checkpoints in CA then it is no use to you kept somewhere where it cannot be brought to bear on the 'enemy' quickly.

Just avoid the rough areas (parts of DF, Belize City, San Jose(esp), Panama City) IME, I worked in Mexico and CA for a year and had no problems.

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Old 24 Apr 2007
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there are more guns per capita in the posession of swiss citizens than american citizens. However in switzerland there is virtually no gun crime. ( I think about 3 years ago some guy shot up a town hall because they refused a planning application). So crime is due to the people, not the availablity of weapons.
In the UK since all the legally held hand guns were confiscated, gun crime has soared dramatically. As there are no legally held handguns now, gun crime should be impossible. Seems those nasty criminals dont always register their guns
Carrying a weapon on a bike is pointless. In the event you might need it you will never have time to deploy it unless you are the aggressor.
A long time ago it was perfectly possible and legal to shoot the odd rabbit for the evening meal when camping. Sadly these days you just cannot ride a bike about the UK countryside with a rifle.
In France you are allowed 'self defence' weapons. these are low powered pistols mostly, which can be lethal at 5 metres or less. One model is essentially a 12 bore double barrelled pistol ( with reduced 2" loads).
Great, so I am stopped on my bike, just how do I get the pistol out of the shoulder holster whilst wearing motorcycle gloves ?

Last edited by oldbmw; 24 Apr 2007 at 20:47. Reason: typos
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