Side Note

The right to bear flamethrowers

Already, organizations like Knife Rights Inc have decided that guns, knives, and swords should be protected under the Second Amendment. Now, thanks to the Firearms Policy Coalition, you can add Elon Musk’s Not A Flamethrower to that list.

After Musk’s The Boring Company made the $500 incendiary device available for pre-order in February, California lawmakers, understandably concerned by the image of citizens toting flamethrowers into local stores, raced to stop its release. In January, California assemblyman Miguel Santiago drafted a bill that would have forced owners of Musk’s flamethrowers to apply for special permits from the state’s Fire Marshal. (California law currently requires special permits for flamethrowers with a firing range of greater than ten feet, but Santiago aimed to drop the minimum range to two.) As he noted in a press release at the time, “I honestly thought it was a joke when I saw the news about this.”

But this month, lawmakers shelved Santiago’s bill, thus clearing the way for their sale to the public. One major opponent of the proposed legislation was the Firearms Policy Coalition, a Sacramento-based advocacy group that focuses on the Second Amendment, and has previously challenged bans on large-capacity magazines and tasers. In a blog post, the organization lambasted the bill’s two-foot rule as being “so broad that it could (and would) be applied to an incredible number of existing devices, including common farm implements, hand torches, welding and metal fabrication tools, roofing equipment, heaters, and just about anything larger than a cigarette lighter.” They added: “This bill should be torched.”

In case you’re worried about an influx of flamethrower-related disasters, though, Musk recently assured people that his flamethrowers are well within the 10-feet range.