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California’s bill to regulate Elon Musk’s flamethrower is being held in committee

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Out of fuel

Image: The Boring Company

It’s looking like the state of California won’t be standing in the way of Elon Musk’s flamethrower anytime soon. A bill introduced earlier this year by California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago is being held in the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee.

Santiago, who represents Los Angeles, introduced a bill called “AB-1949 Explosives: flamethrowing devices” earlier this year redefining the state’s permitting requirements — a person presently wishing to use a device that shoots flames more than 10 feet already has to get a permit — by introducing “Tier II” classification for devices that shoot flames anywhere from two to ten feet, and would “prohibit a person from distributing, selling, or offering for sale a Tier II flamethrowing device in California unless the device bears a specified safety warning.”

AB-1949 is being held in committee, which the San Francisco Chronicle notes (via Ars Technica) was weakened after opposition from gun rights activists. It is expected to cost the state “between $100,000 and $200,000 for at least one staff person to handle workload related to permits for Tier II flamethrowing devices”, and has been sent to the Assembly’s “Suspense File,” — a requirement for any bills which are expected to cost more than $150,000 are sent, and which the Chronicle describes as where “legislative leaders often kill bills that could pose an embarrassing vote for the ruling party.”

In January, Musk tweeted that if he sold 50,000 Boring Company hats, he’d begin selling a branded flamethrower, selling all $500 20,000 in a matter of days. He also noted that the device would be renamed “Not a Flamethrower” or “Temperature Enhancement Device” to thwart customs agencies. On May 26th, Musk tweeted that the devices were “about to ship,” and that deliveries would take place soon.