Piracy Fighters Use Floating Armories

Private security firms are storing their guns aboard floating armories in international waters so ships that want armed anti-piracy guards can circumvent laws limiting the import and export of weapons.

Companies and legal experts describe the operations as a “legal gray area” because few governments have laws governing the practice.

Floating armories have become a viable business in the wake of increased security practices by the maritime industry, which has struggled for years to combat attacks by Somali pirates.

Nick Davis of the Maritime Guard Group said Thursday that governments and the industry need to urgently address the standards for floating armories.