If you spend even a small amount of time on the Internet, you’ll see some things that are just downright confounding. That’s why it’s good to view most things online with a healthy dose of skepticism. When I first saw an article about the XM42 flamethrower I thought it must be a joke. The XM42 is being touted as the “world’s first commercially available flamethrower.” An idea that is sure to evoke either pure delight or sheer terror, depending on your perspective.
The XM42 was dreamed up by a small company called The Ion Production Team. This quaint group of pyro-loving geeks describe their brainchild as, “…the world’s first fully handheld, grab and go flamethrower on the market. No heavy pressurized tanks, no silly car-wash sprayers.” The Ion team then go on to say that the XM42 has, “…endless possibilities for entertainment and utility. Start your bonfire from across the yard, or kill the weeds between your cracks in style.” Of course! What could go wrong?
If you’re wondering about the legalities of flamethrower ownership, no worries. The FAQ on the XM42 website states:
There are generally no restrictions on flamethrower ownership in the United States. However, we are currently aware that California and Maryland have legislation regarding flamethrowers… In California, unlicensed possession of ‘any non-stationary and transportable device designed or intended to emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of at least 10 feet’ H&W 12750 (a)—is a misdemeanor punishable with a county jail term not exceeding one year or with a fine not exceeding $10,000 (CA H&W 12761). Licenses to use flamethrowers are issued by the State Fire Marshal.’
Bummer for those of us living in the Golden State (and Maryland). But for the rest of the United States (and certainly other parts of the world), it’s time to head out back and get your bonfires ready. Just be sure to use the XM42 properly. Under the heading “Is it dangerous?” the FAQ states, “We strongly encourage using the XM42 outdoors away from others and away from anything that could be accidentally set on fire.” Note the keyword accidentally. But for all of those things you just can’t wait to burn to a crisp, by all means. Have at them!
If the idea of having your very own flamethrower seems too good to pass up, you’ll be able to order your own XM42 as part of an Indiegogo campaign that’ll launch next week. Further details will be posted on the XM42 site once the campaign goes live.