Potential misuse of Elon Musk's flamethrowers worries people - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Potential misuse of Elon Musk's flamethrowers worries people

The billionaire tweeted a warning over the weekend, reminding people to use the flamethrowers 'as directed to avoid unintentionally burning things down.' (Source: YouTube/KCAL/KCBS/CNN) The billionaire tweeted a warning over the weekend, reminding people to use the flamethrowers 'as directed to avoid unintentionally burning things down.' (Source: YouTube/KCAL/KCBS/CNN)

SANTA ANA, CA (KCAL/KCBS/CNN) - One of Elon Musk's latest inventions has firefighters in southern California burning mad.

In a state known for its wildfires, authorities said these products can do a lot of damage.

Flamethrowers that look like weapons are the latest sensation from Elon Musk. He's already sold 20,000.

As Orange County firefighters extinguish another blaze, the new flamethrowers have crews seeing red.

"We've had three major fires in Orange County just in the last couple of weeks. Everything's ready to go. We just didn't get the rain again this year, so it's already brown, the moisture's very low, so anytime you have somebody or kids even playing with these flamethrowers, it's going to be a recipe for disaster," Orange County Fire Capt. Tony Bommarito said.

Musk made $10 million on the flamethrowers to raise money for his tunnel construction company. At about $500 each, they sold out.

But we found them online on Craigslist for $1,500 and on eBay for up to $2,000.

They act like a giant Bunsen burner. A propane tank of about 14 oz. connects to the rest of the device. To use it, click the ignition switch, then pull the trigger.

Firefighters who just battled the Aliso fire less than two weeks ago can't believe they're legal.

Lawmakers tried to introduce legislation to ban any sort of incendiary flame cannon by civilians, but Musk already thought of that. That's why he labeled it "not a flamethrower."

People said the name doesn't change the fact that they see it as a dangerous gimmick.

"What if I'm out and about, let's say I have a child or something and then somebody comes out with a flamethrower? What am I going to do? There's nothing I could do to protect my children," one person said.

"My concern is, like, if a teenager gets it. Yeah, they don't make good decisions," another person said.

The billionaire tweeted a warning over the weekend, reminding people to use the flamethrowers "as directed to avoid unintentionally burning things down."

Copyright 2018 KCAL and KCBS via CNN. All rights reserved.

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