Quick search by citation:

33 U.S. Code § 383 - Resistance of pirates by merchant vessels

The commander and crew of any merchant vessel of the United States, owned wholly, or in part, by a citizen thereof, may oppose and defend against any aggression, search, restraint, depredation, or seizure, which shall be attempted upon such vessel, or upon any other vessel so owned, by the commander or crew of any armed vessel whatsoever, not being a public armed vessel of some nation in amity with the United States, and may subdue and capture the same; and may also retake any vessel so owned which may have been captured by the commander or crew of any such armed vessel, and send the same into any port of the United States.

(R.S. § 4295.)
Editorial Notes

R.S. § 4295 derived from acts Mar. 3, 1819, ch. 77, § 3, 3 Stat. 513; Jan. 30, 1823, ch. 7, 3 Stat. 721.