10 U.S. Code § 351 - During war or threat to national security

§ 351.
During war or threat to national security
The President, through any agency of the Department of Defense designated by him, may arm, have armed, or allow to be armed, any watercraft or aircraft that is capable of being used as a means of transportation on, over, or under water, and is documented, registered, or licensed under the laws of the United States.
This section applies during a war and at any other time when the President determines that the security of the United States is threatened by the application, or the imminent danger of application, of physical force by any foreign government or agency against the United States, its citizens, the property of its citizens, or their commercial interests.
Section 16 of the Act of March 4, 1909 (22 U.S.C. 463) does not apply to vessels armed under this section.
(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 16; Pub. L. 96–513, title V, § 511(12), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2921.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)


50:481 (1st sentence, less 1st 7 words).

June 29, 1948, ch. 715, 62 Stat. 1095.


50:481 (1st 7 words of 1st sentence and 2d sentence).


50:481 (less 1st and 2d sentences).

In subsection (a), the wording of the special definition of “vessel” and “American vessel”, contained in section 16 of the Neutrality Act of 1939, 54 Stat. 12 (22 U.S.C. 456), is substituted for the words “any American vessel as defined in the Neutrality Act of 1939”.

In subsection (b), the words “or national emergency” are omitted, since the words of the source statute defining that term have been substituted for it.

In subsection (c), the words “(relating to bonds from armed vessels on clearing)” are omitted as surplusage.


1980—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96–513 substituted “Section 16 of the Act of March 4, 1909 (22 U.S.C. 463)” for “Section 463 of title 22”.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–513 effective Dec. 12, 1980, see section 701(b)(3) of Pub. L. 96–513, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.


LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.