A Politician Is Trying to Stop Elon Musk From Selling Flamethrowers
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Elon Musk may already have secured more than 15,000 pre-orders of Boring Company-branded flamethrowers, but an elected official in the California State government is taking measures to prevent the torch guns from ever getting into the hands of those customers.
On Saturday, Elon Musk announced via Twitter and Instagram that he’d put flamethrowers up for sale on the website for his nascent traffic-tunnel-boring business, The Boring Company. By Tuesday morning, he tweeted that he’d sold three-quarters of the 20,000 $500 flamethrowers he intends to produce.
Meanwhile, California Assemblymember Miguel Santiago caught wind of Musk’s flamethrower sale and announced his intent to introduce legislation to block it.
On Twitter, Santiago, who represents California’s 53rd Assembly District (comprised of Downtown Los Angeles and some surrounding areas), posted the following press release and accompanying message. The end of the release explains that Santiago has introduced a placeholder measure, and that additional language is in the process of being drafted and the measure will be updated in March.
If this is real, I’m outraged and you should be too. If this is a joke, then it’s a terribly insensitive one given that we’re coming off of the worst wildfire season in history. Either way: NOT FUNNY. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. pic.twitter.com/82n00um9Bf— Miguel Santiago (@SantiagoAD53) January 29, 2018
In the release, Santiago referenced the Boring Company’s plans to construct a tunnel in Los Angeles to help alleviate traffic congestion.
"The State of California and the County and City of Los Angeles have entrusted Mr. Musk to help alleviate a real public policy problem here by executing a tunnel under the City to help alleviate traffic,” Santiago said in the statement. “This deviation feels like a slap in the face."
Santiago went on to hypothesize about the fire and public safety hazards associated with Musk’s flamethrower, which has become available “in the wake of the state’s deadliest wildfires in history.”
The assemblyman qualified that while he is “in awe of Mr. Musk’s genius -- the brains behind Tesla, SolarCity, PayPal and SpaceX … ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’”
The California Professional Firefighters are also on the record in opposition to Musk’s flamethrowers in Santiago’s statement.
Musk has tweeted that his flamethrower complies with standards set by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
ATF says any flamethrower with a flame shorter than 10 ft is A-ok. Our design is max fun for least danger. I’d be way more scared of a steak knife.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2018
The flamethrowers are the second item The Boring Company has sold. Late last year, Musk sold 50,000 $20 hats with the company’s name on them, then tweeted that its next product would be a flamethrower in what seemed at the time to be a joke.
After 50k hats, we will start selling The Boring Company flamethrower— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2017
On the web page for the flamethrowers, the Boring Company now also has a $30 fire extinguisher for pre-order.