Staring this as a new thread where I may ask periodic ideas
Working on a science fiction story and this came up in my mind:
There are a few series that allow have armed civilian vessels. Good example is the Honor Harrington series where passenger liners carry the weaponry of a heavy cruiser. I believe the same s the case with the Starfire novels. There is also Star Wars which allows armed merchant vessels such as the Millennium Falcon. I don't believe Firefly though however allows such ships, considering them too dangerous.
I am working on a story where the main character are in a converted corvette which while stripped of some of its weaponry, it is still armed. For example, it has light anti-ship particle beams and it has missiles but no warheads on the missiles. The mass and velocity of a connecting missile would destroy any unprotected target. Warships do however have various protections, namely a gravity wall in front of the ship which bends particle beams and in most cases will shred missiles. Nukes try to penetrate the wall in order to damage the ship.
There are semi-lawless areas where a ship might need to be armed and sometimes they might want to visit more settled areas to get cargoes to carry to those more lawless areas. Those more settled areas would need some rules / laws on how they treat such vessels. I am sure some systems would simply not allow them to approach the system and maybe even shoot on sight in some extremely paranoid powers.
What are other options though? Thinking maybe a customs inspection that makes sure that they don't at least have any nukes on board? How close would they allow the ship to get to their world? I can also see that there would always be a risk as well with the visit of warships from other navies as well.