Fun police: California moves to outlaw Elon Musk’s flamethrower

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Musk started hyping his $500 personal flamethrower on social media last weekend and promptly took orders for 10,000. (Photo: Instagram)

With pre-orders for more than 10,000 of the billionaire’s handheld flame devices garnered in just days, at least one lawmaker is looking to ban the Boring Company’s flamethrower.

The $500 black and white rifle-like torch device was hyped by the Tesla and SpaceX tech mogul who announced that $5 million worth were sold by Monday. However, California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, a Los Angeles Democrat, said if he gets his way it’s not going to happen.

“We don’t allow people to walk in off the street and purchase military-grade tanks or armor-piercing ammunition … I cannot even begin to imagine the problems a flamethrower would cause firefighters and police officers alike,” said Santiago in a statement.

Though it is possible Musk is playing an elaborate prank — which Santiago points out — the lawmaker has introduced placeholder legislation to ban the devices should they prove to exist.

Laws governing the devices are few, with only California and Maryland having codified their use while the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have no mandate to restrict them. Though there have been no notable incidents to cite, some lawmakers in Congress and elsewhere in recent years have strived to prohibit the storage, use and possession of flamethrowers.

For his part, Musk’s says his device — which despite its name seems more like an agricultural or roofing torch and doesn’t actually seem to “throw” flame — is “max fun for least danger” and he’d be “way more scared of a steak knife.”

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