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Guyana considers allowing fishermen to carry guns to stop pirate attacks

An aerial picture of the Salines beach in Cayenne, Guiana. JODY AMIET/AFP/Getty Images

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The threat of pirates off the oceans of Guyana has authorities considering a measure to allow fishermen to begin carrying weapons.

Guyana strictly controls the use of firearms and the government said Saturday it is deciding whether to begin permitting deep-sea fishermen to carry guns while at sea. The fishermen would be required to turn in the weapons at police stations once they return to land.

READ MORE: Canadian couple chronicles pirate attack survival story on video

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said he is open to the proposal because it is too expensive to have boats and helicopters constantly patrol waters off the coast of the South American country.

Authorities blame pirates for the deaths of nearly two dozen fishermen in recent years. Pirates often steal fish, equipment and boat engines and then kill the crew or throw them overboard.

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