Politician steps in to try and stop sales of Elon Musk’s flamethrower

Musk's flamethrower faces a potential ban in California.
Image: the boring company

Elon Musk’s plan to sell Boring Company branded flamethrowers is certainly a fantastic bit of marketing, and it’s no wonder pre-sales are on fire.

While Musk has made assurances that the flamethrower will meet national guidelines by emitting a flame less than 10 feet, one Californian assemblyman wants to put an end to the idea for good.

Democrat Miguel Santiago announced Monday he will introduce legislation aimed at blocking the sale of the $500 flamethrower, in the state of California at least.

“I honestly thought it was a joke when the article was read to me — while I was sitting in Los Angeles traffic,” Santiago said in a statement on Twitter. 

“The State of California and the County and City of Los Angeles have entrusted Mr. Musk to help alleviate a real public policy problem here by executing a tunnel under the City to help alleviate traffic. This deviation feels like a slap in the face.”

The Boring Company has received permits to dig a two-mile test tunnel at the SpaceX headquarters just outside of Los Angeles, and has also received permission for 10.3 mile tunnel in Maryland. 

Elaborate joke or otherwise, Santiago said the plan prompts concerns about Musk receiving personal data from customers. The assemblyman has also received support for a ban from California Professional Firefighters.

“Like most Americans, I am in awe in of Mr. Musk’s genius — the brains behind Tesla, PayPal, SolarCity, and SpaceX. But as President Truman and Stan Lee have taught us all, ‘With great power comes great responsibility,'” Santiago added. 

“There are many times in which technology and inventions benefit society, but are not made available to the public. 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.”

In a statement sent to Mashable, The Boring Company said its flamethrower “is safer than what you can buy right now off-the-shelf at Home Depot to destroy weeds.”

“Much like a rollercoaster, this is designed to be thrilling without danger. Dangerous flamethrowers are already regulated and require a permit to own in California.”

So far, Musk has taken orders for 10,000 flamethrowers since it went up for sale on Saturday. 20,000 are apparently available, and the device is set to ship in spring, if the wacky idea even comes to fruition.

UPDATE: Jan. 30, 2018, 1:40 p.m. AEDT Added comment from The Boring Company.

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