That Americans have very liberal gun laws is something that most people have realized, but that gun shops can legally sell flamethrowers might be too crazy to believe.
Nevertheless, it's actually true, unless you live in the states of Maryland or California. That is to say, in California you can buy and own a flamethrower, but you must have a specific permit which probably is not particularly hard to obtain.
Until recent years, it has not been a problem, because flamethrowers have been expensive to produce, while the military market is tiny since there has been an international ban on military use since 1983.
Now, however, the situation has changed considerably.
The flamethrower XM42 can be bought for as little as $900, and a competing product, X15, costs $1,600.
The latter lets you throw flames up to 15 meters - perfect if you're surrounded by zombies or threatening timber.
That random civilians walk around with flamethrowers sounds like a recipe for disaster, and according to Ars Technica, this is something that the authorities in the country now are beginning to realize. Which in turn has consequences for the sale:
- Sales have exploded because of the talk of a prohibition, explains Chris Byars, who is director at Ion Productions Team, to the site Ars Technica.
His company sells the cheapest of the two flame throwers.
- I'm a big fan of personal freedom and personal responsibility. Own what you want, unless you use it in a way that is harmful to others or their property, he says.
Flamethrowers were common weapons used in the Vietnam war, often with horrendous results.
Last year, the North Korean Minister O Sang-hon was executed with a flamethrower during one of Kim Jong-uns actions against people he did not trust.
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