Elon Musk is probably best known for his goal to get to Mars, but he has other aspirations, like building traffic tunnels. And, apparently, selling flamethrowers, since he put a limited edition flamethrower up for $500 a pop, limited to 20,000 units. Why Musk wants to get in the flamethrower game is unclear, but he looks likely to move all 20,000 units — despite the, ah, cavalier attitude the company is taking towards their products.
Let’s answer your first question: Yes, owning a flamethrower is legal in most of the country.
There are no federal laws on owning a flamethrower, and so far only California and Maryland have bothered to sit down and ban them. As a result, you’ve been able to buy various kinds of flamethrowers online for years. These aren’t the World War II movie flamethrowers, as a rule; they’re usually powered by flammable gas like propane, so they’re more like a torch. In fact, manufacturers prefer terms like “vapor torch” over flamethrower both because it’s more descriptive and it sounds a little more responsible than “flamethrower.”
And believe it or not, they do have actual uses. Mostly they’re used to sterilize animal enclosures, thaw frozen pipes, clear patches of asphalt and kill weeds, although that latter seems a wee bit excessive. So, if you really want a $500 flamethrower, it’s legal and if you’ve got weeds poking through asphalt, you can probably even justify the expense to yourself.
Beyond that, if you want to own something absurdly dangerous that’s still totally legal, well, let’s just say you’ve got options.
UPDATE – 4:00pm EST: Musk is already halfway to selling out his supply with 10,000 units sold.
(via The Verge)