Is It Legal to Own a Flamethrower?
If you’re looking to buy one of Elon Musk’s high-tech flamethrowers , you know, for roasting nuts and stuff , you might wonder if it’s legal to own such a dangerous weapon – uh, tool – in the good old USA. A. I will give you a hint: the flame is burning.
Believe it or not, there are no federal laws governing private ownership of flamethrowers or flamethrower -like devices (these are considered “extended range torches”). It all comes down to individual state laws, and for the most part, everyone is surprisingly pretty calm when you bring in warmth. Only two states in the country restrict the use of devices: California and Maryland. They are completely banned in Maryland and can only be obtained in California with a permit issued by the State Fire Marshal ( let’s take a look at your paperwork, Musk ). Failure to obtain a license in California is a misdemeanor that could result in a year in prison or a $ 10,000 fine. This means that you are technically free to buy and own flamethrowers in the other 48 states.
However, using them can be a completely different story. Obviously, using them on humans – even overly impatient stuntmen – is illegal, but it can also be illegal to play Look I’m a Dragon for non-living purposes. Some states may classify these types of motorized devices as fireworks, which means most states have stricter laws. And even if you just want to burn the weeds on your property, you should always consult your state’s laws before going to the backyard, say a cool line like “Need light?” And then unleash hell on some dandelions. The states take their burning bans very seriously, as one small mistake is enough to ignite a wildfire that burns the entire territory and destroys people’s lives .
The Boring Company flamethrower is not the first commercially available flamethrower to raise singed eyebrows . Back in 2015, Ion Productions began selling the XM42 , which is much more of a weapon than Musk’s $ 500 gift that is almost guaranteed to appear in future Silicon Valley episodes. The XM42 has a 25-foot range, while Musk is more like a crème brulee that looks like a video game pistol cut from Destiny. It will burn at close range and is definitely a fire hazard, but at least it won’t be useful as a weapon. However, no matter what, if you are planning to buy a flamethrower, make sure you double check your state and local laws. And please be careful. These types of devices were designed as war machines in order to incinerate entire squads and inflict as much carnage as possible. They’re not toys – even if the billionaire makes them look damn fun.