Congress Seeks to Ban Flamethrowers Days After Musk’s Sell Out

Check out our review of the XM42 Flamethrower.

In their latest attempt at useless, unnecessary “weapon” bans, the anti-gun (read: anti-freedom, anti-fun) contingent in Congress has proposed the “Flamethrowers? Really? Act.”

Introduced Tuesday by New York Democrats Eliot Engel and Carolyn Maloney, the bill would regulate any flamethrower capable of shooting a flame over six feet in the same manner as a machine gun. The new designation would make flamethrowers nearly impossible to own for anyone except law enforcement agencies.

The legislation was filed one day after Elon Musk announced that his new “flamethrower” had sold out of the first (and likely only) 20,000 unit run. Musk developed a rifle-like device that looks suspiciously like a roofing torch married to an airsoft rifle. Despite its questionable status as a bonafide flamethrower, Musk raised $5 million selling the gadget at $500 a pop.

At least 20,000 Americans have answered Engel and Maloney’s bill with, “Yeah. Really.”

Ironically, Musk’s flamethrower likely wouldn’t be banned under the new legislation. Based on the available video, the device doesn’t look like it shoots a flame more than three or four feet.

SEE ALSO: The XM42 Flamethrower-What Freedom Looks Like

That can’t be said for other legitimate flamethrowers like Ion’s XM42 Flamethrower (reviewed in detail by GunsAmerica’s Jon Hodoway here). The XM42 can shoot a flame up to 25 feet for over 35 seconds with a full tank. It’s the real deal, but it would be almost totally banned under the “Flamethrowers? Really? Act.”

While the timing of the legislation appears to have been motivated by Musk’s device, Engel and Maloney have been after flamethrowers since at least last year. Engel propose an identical piece of legislation in 2017 that failed to get out of committee.

“It’s not something I’d thought about before,” said Engel last year, “because you’d just assume—right?—that flamethrowers would be regulated. It just causes you to scratch your head and say, ‘Really?’”

Despite Engel’s confusion, flamethrowers aren’t regulated for a reason. While you’d be hard-pressed to find an instance of a criminal use of a flamethrower, they’re commonly used for land management and snow removal, not to mention good-old-fashioned ‘merican fun.

The “Flamethrowers? Really? Act” has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. The committee is controlled by Republicans 9-7.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Vaughn Winslett October 3, 2018, 9:37 am

    Water the Tree Of Liberty.

  • Leonard Feinman February 9, 2018, 3:35 pm

    This is just another attempt by the government to regulate something. Yes, the Bic lighter and hairspray work the same way, but nobody is using them to commit a crime either. A Molotov Cocktail is cheaper, easier to use, and can’t be traced. So, for every new law, there is a workaround.
    But the bottom line is this: A new law is expensive to produce, and it will do nothing to accelerate or decelerate any crime.

  • Zupglick February 9, 2018, 3:00 pm

    Can of hairspray and a Bic.

  • mauser6863 February 9, 2018, 11:15 am

    Flame Throwers were invented and used in War during the First World War. The United States used them up to Vietnam and then unsuccessfully tried to replace then with incendiary rockets. Currently, the U.S. does not inventory these weapons.

    Real Flame Throwers (Not the Musk Toys) kill by flame/burning. Unlike the movies, death is instant, no walking around on fire, you just die. Their real benefit is when used against people in bunkers/building/caves, etc. the fuel burns and creates carbon monoxide gas. One lung full of carbon monoxide gas and you are done and no amount of oxygen or treatment will save you. This has great utility on the battlefield, as you don’t have to see or directly engage the enemy to kill them all. In addition, no one wants to be burned or burned to death, which is a universal human fear. The flame thrower causes soldiers to flee the battlefield rather than face a horrible death. Undoubtedly many American lives could have been saved in our various recent wars if the flame thrower was deployed.

    Hopefully (but I doubt it) the United States Military will re-examine and re-adopt the flame thrower.

    The reason that the BATFE and Congress have not regulated Flame Throwers is that firstly, they aren’t an issue as far as criminal justice goes. I doubt there has ever been a flame thrower attack by criminals on this planet. The ordinary BIC lighter has killed many more people. The second issue is regulation of hoses, tanks, valves and sprayers is basically impossible. So like all gun laws, after someone commits a murder, you tack on a gun charge, BIG DEAL. This would be a huge can of worms and I doubt the BATFE and America’s farmers are eager for more needless regulation.

  • joefoam February 9, 2018, 9:11 am

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the Musk sycophants in the media had very little to say about turning 20,000 weapons banned by the Geneva conventions loose on the general public.

  • John Abatte February 9, 2018, 8:41 am

    If they want to ban them, the ATF could easily classify them as “destructive devices” just as they do with items such as grenades.

  • Charles Kimberl February 9, 2018, 8:15 am

    The good ole Congress. They can’t do the real business of the people in an intelligent or expedient way but they can sure jump into some ‘nothing’ situation in a heartbeat.

  • Pastor B Stevens February 9, 2018, 6:44 am

    Seriously lol what a bunch of sissy’s … the perceived Flame thrower does not throw flaming liquid required to be a true flame thrower . It’s esecentually a big torch . Hell I have a propane torch for burning stuff around the ranch like grass along the fence line . Aparently snowflake pussys don’t understand what it really is . Flame thrower uses cornstarch soaked with gasoline to spew out a liquid thin paste . This little torch in a rifle shape is another torch not a flame thrower . All these wimps that live in big city’s have 0 ideal what the rest use torches for . They come up with the most wimpy BS because it looks scary …. stay in your bubble of communist run city’s ( NY City ) and stay out of things that you simply don’t understand . Incidentally my ranch trch throws a much bigger flame it’s a tool not a weapon . Throwing a cup of gasaloine on someone is far more dangerous so you commies going to stop selling gasoline ? 😂😂🤪

  • Pat February 9, 2018, 6:40 am

    You think these fucktard constitution shredding communists are going to stop there? For fucks sake! Its a weed burner with the shell of a nerf gun slapped on it! They will not stop until they control every aspect of our lives down to how we wipe our asses! They are on a perpetual quest to extinguish all freedom and thought that lies outside of what they deem acceptable. This isn’t about guns or flamethrowers. It’s about fascism masquerading as political correctness in its never ending quest to extinguishIing any symbol or thought that can be associated with political dissidence.

    PS, If you ever find yourself unlucky enough to run into a nest of giant Japanese hornets, you’ll be wishing you had a flamethrower

  • chris February 9, 2018, 6:16 am

    Said it before and I say it again. We only need one more ban! A ban to ban ALL other bans! Say that 5 times fast.

  • David February 9, 2018, 5:06 am

    Right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That means in layman’s terms… Any weapon (within reason) that you deem necessary to defend yourself from any threat, including your own government, is within your inalienable rights as a human to possess and have on ones person at all times and is protected under law by the second amendment. Banning this tool is within direct violation of this amendment. As long as doesn’t qualify as a WMD, it’s legal pretty much. No contagions and no fallout basically, anything else is fair game!?

  • Blue Dog February 5, 2018, 7:09 pm

    Flame throwers don’t help us as a community of firearm enthusiasts and only make us look bad to our opponents. It is in our best interest as a community of like-minded hobbyists not to make an issue out of this because, really, flamethrowers?

    • Dewey February 6, 2018, 11:26 am

      C’mon Blue Dog, you know that reason and intelligence are not welcome on this site and on this issue in particular. Our right to flamethrowers shall not be infringed because… “Murrica” and …FUN! I’m certain that that video of Hodoway acting like an inbred idiot with the flamethrower had nothing at all to do with this proposed legislation, not at all. Once again, “Murrican” gun owners are their own worst enemy. Unfortunately, they are also the responsible gun owners’ worst enemy. Thanks again Guns’Murrica!

      • Peter Roberts February 6, 2018, 7:32 pm

        Blue dog if u give ‘m an inch they’ll take a mile

        • kevin watson February 9, 2018, 9:40 am

          Notice how Dogpoo has no argument except derision…

    • Chris A February 9, 2018, 9:00 am

      You know?… your right! Flamethrower dont look good for the gun community. Especially when simpleton idiots protest them and classify them right along with firearms. Do you ever think before you waste your 2 cents Blue Dog? Flamethrowers are a tool like wrenches, shovels, welders and jacks. All those tools can be used in a destructive way. Do you classify them with your firearms? Should the ATF come raid everyone ones garage because a tool looks dangerous? I Think not!

    • BlueDogSucksHog February 9, 2018, 9:21 am

      Come on everybody, say it with me now!!!!
      A 1 and a 2 and a—-
      BlueDog Sucks FAT Hog!!

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend