Over the weekend, Elon Musk began a successful run of selling flamethrowers via his Boring Company brand. This success could be short lived if California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago has anything to do with it, as the politician plans to introduce legislation that would block Musk from selling the device to the public.
Of course, even if this legislation is pushed through, it would only prevent the weapon being sold to the public in the state of California. The other 49 states are currently still open to the sale of the firearm, but this action could lead to a domino effect of other politicians stepping in on the practice.
ATF says any flamethrower with a flame shorter than 10 ft is A-ok. Our design is max fun for least danger. I’d be way more scared of a steak knife.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2018
As Musk points out, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives only deems a flamethrower with a flame above 10 feet as illegal, to which The Boring Company’s flamethrower is “max fun for least danger,” keeping its flame well below the minimum. So much so that Musk claimed that he’d “be way more scared of a steak knife.”
Santiago says that while he is “in awe of Mr Musk’s genius” the deviation from something as beneficial as SpaceX to this “feels like a slap in the face.”
“As President Truman and Stan Lee have taught us all, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ There are many times in which technology and inventions benefit society, but are not made available to the public,” continues Santiago’s statement. “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 image the problems a flamethrower would cause firefighters and police officers alike.”
If this is real, I’m outraged and you should be too. If this is a joke, then it’s a terribly insensitive one given that we’re coming off of the worst wildfire season in history. Either way: NOT FUNNY. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. https://t.co/DCC2xyVsn4
— Miguel Santiago (@SantiagoAD53) January 29, 2018
Musk has assured people that The Boring Company would use the flamethrower in some official capacity, but has yet to reveal what exactly that might be at this given time other than to “roast nuts” or as some others have pointed out “remove weeds in the garden.” Otherwise, it’s easy to see why this can be insulting, dangerous and simply not a toy despite Musk’s inherent fun.
As it stands, a confirmed 7,000 of the 20,000 flamethrowers have been sold with presumably many more in the past day.
KitGuru Says: While this does seem like one big joke, placing anything dangerous into the hands of potentially irresponsible people is a risky move. Especially when this is in the public eye so much that it has the power to influence similar practices. What do you think of Musk selling the flamethrower to the general public?