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18 U.S. Code § 2278 - Explosives on vessels carrying steerage passengers

Whoever, being the master of a steamship or other vessel referred to in section 151 of Title 46, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, takes, carries, or has on board of any such vessel any nitroglycerin, dynamite, or any other explosive article or compound, or any vitriol or like acids, or gunpowder, except for the ship’s use, or any article or number of articles, whether as a cargo or ballast, which, by reason of the nature or quantity or mode of storage thereof, shall, either singly or collectively, be likely to endanger the health or lives of the passengers or the safety of the vessel, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 171 of title 46, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Shipping (Aug. 2, 1882, ch. 374, § 8, 22 Stat. 189).

Words “except as otherwise expressly provided by law” were inserted to remove obvious inconsistency between sections 831835 of this title, section 170 of title 46, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Shipping, and this section.

Words “shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and” were omitted because designation of the offense as a misdemeanor is unnecessary in view of definitive section 1 of this title.

Mandatory punishment provision was rephrased in the alternative.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Editorial Notes
References in Text

Section 151 of Title 46, referred to in text, which was based on section 1 of act Aug. 2, 1882, ch. 374, 22 Stat. 186, was repealed by Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, § 4(b), 97 Stat. 599.


1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000”.