- Received: 18 Aug 2014
- Accepted: 22 Dec 2014
- Published online: 19 May 2015
The U.S. and the UK supported the introduction of PMSCs on merchant vessels to address Somali piracy. This article describes U.S. and UK regulations and guidelines for PMSCs and shippers seeking to hire them. A central concern for each has been ensuring control of the weapons to be used by PMSCs. The U.S. has also sought to vet contractors to ensure the security of U.S. ports and transport facilities, while the UK has focused on ensuring that contractors and companies meet its firearms requirements. These distinctions reflect differences in the regulation of firearms in the U.S. and the UK.