(http://www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The US Congress in 1819 enacted into law a statute to protect the commerce of the United States and punish the crime of piracy.
Among other things, it authorized the use of public armed vessels (the US Navy and the US Revenue Cutter Service), with suitable instructions to the commanders thereof, in protecting merchant vessels of the United States and their crews from piratical aggressions and depredations.
It also authorized merchant vessels to oppose and defend against aggression by a private armed vessel. Any person convicted of piracy as defined by the law of nations was to be punished with death.
Click below to view the relevant US law: