New York

New York Moves to Make Flamethrowers Illegal in Response to Elon Musk's Boring Co. Stunt

Musk's company sold 20,000 flamethrowers in 2018

Apparently, it wasn't already illegal to use a flamethrower for recreational purposes in New York ... and then Elon Musk came along.

The New York State Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would make possession of a flamethrower, except in certain circumstances, a felony. The bill is a direct response to a controversial Jan. 2018 promotion by Musk's tunneling business, The Boring Co, where it sold 20,000 flamethrowers at $500 each in just five days

"Elon Musk's Boring Company released a new flamethrower which sold out of all 20,000 within days, without any concern to the training of the purchasers or their reasons for buying. Allowing the general public to access this type of machine is extremely problematic; some commercial flamethrowers can project flames up to twenty feet from the user," the bill's sponsor memo reads.

The bill would add flamethrowers to the list of objects covered by criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. There are exemptions for flamethrowers built before 1966 and those used for agriculture and construction. 

The Boring Company could not immediately be reached for comment.

With senate passage, the bill now heads to the state assembly. 

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