Flamethrowers are legal. That’s not a question. It’s a statement. Read on to find out the actual law about flamethrowers, the history of them, how to obtain one, the uses of them and the final reality of owning a flamethrower.
The Law on Flamethrowers
Do you own a lighter? What about a butane torch? If you said yes to either of those, then you own a tiny flamethrower. Is anyone knocking down your door to take you to jail? Probably not. And they most likely won’t either.
As pointed out by Cracked, even the large versions of flamethrowers do not have any federal laws on the books that prevent you from owning one.
Does this mean you can go around setting your neighborhood on fire? No. Imagine using a lighter to set a neighbor’s house on fire. Just because you can own one, doesn’t mean it can be used to do harm to others.
History of Flamethrowers
As pointed out by Wikipedia, throwing fire at people to cause harm has been around for a long time. It all started with Greek fire. Then the people figured out a way to shoot that Greek fire out into a crowd.
In modern times, they were quite useful during the world wars. There is nothing like a fire bearing down on you to scare you. Flamethrowers are psychological weapons that can also leave nasty scars. Considering the combustible nature of the fluids and gases in a flamethrower, they are also dangerous to the user.
There are basically two types of flamethrowers: “stage fire” flamethrowers and military grade. Military grade sprays hydrogen and gelatinized fuel. The fuel can land on something and continue to burn. This is why it was good as a weapon. “Stage fire” flamethrowers shoot out a flame significantly cooler than military grade. The fire is also not designed to stick.
There are also the flamethrowers made from lighters and hairspray cans. However, those are very dangerous as the fire can enter the can and blow it up because hairspray provides it’s own oxygen for the flame. Don’t do it.
How to Obtain a Flamethrower
There are basically two ways to get a flamethrower. You can either buy one or make one. You can buy professionally made flamethrowers online for a decent price. These are made to be as safe as a flamethrower can be. You can also make your own using any of the numerous tutorials on the internet. Try watching the guys on SYSTM show you how to make a flamethrower for a trustworthy lesson.
Uses of a Flamethrower
Besides the previously mentioned use of a flamethrower as a weapon, there are other uses for a flamethrower. Deadly insects are hard to kill when they are in swarms. Flamethrowers can kill them quickly. This has been useful against angry bee swarms. Flamethrowers are also useful for clearing out brush and, ironically, making an area less susceptible to fire. They have also been used for clearing out snakes and getting rid of snow in city streets.
The Reality of Owning a Flamethrower
There is a cold reality to owning a flamethrower. They are filled with highly combustible materials. If any fires were to erupt near them, there would be a chance of an explosion. They produce large amounts of fire, one of the deadliest forces known to man. The fires they produce are sometimes uncontrollable.
The truth is flamethrowers are deadly. Unlike a gun that might fire a single bullet that might hit someone, if a flamethrower accidentally goes off, things are going to burn. People are going to burn.
Flamethrowers are legal. They started with Greek fire. They come in two different “flavors”: deadly and even more deadly. They can be bought online. They can be made at your kitchen table. This is all true. But the question you should ask yourself is this: Even though flamethrowers are legal, do you really want to own one? Unless you are fighting off a swarm of “killer bees,” do you have a good reason to own one? A lighter is a much safer tool.
Check out our update to this article: What states are flamethrowers legal in?