Online flamethrower shopping ignites debate

MICHIGAN (WIAT) — Even though the United States Military banned the use of flamethrowers after the Vietnam War, as of today, anyone else can buy one on the internet.

Flamethrowers are legal in every state except Maryland, but a permit is needed to get one in California and Ohio. Most customers have stated that they want one for agricultural purposes, like burning fields and weeds, but, the apparatuses are also being used for snow removal, concerts, movies — and just for fun.

“It’s fun,” said Amy Koffel of The Ion Productions team. “I get some girlfriends to come out and get some cool photos done because everyone wants to try one.”

But not everyone is “fired up” about the flamethrower business. The mayor of Warren, Michigan, which is near a flamethrower factory, has had them banned from his city.

“I had one guy say to me, ‘I’d like to have one, because you never know when a hoard of crazy people are going to come at your home’,” Mayor James Fouts said. “I said, ‘You been watching too much walking dead.’ Outside of zombie attacks, there’s no need to have this.”

Flamethrowers cost around $1200, and one company says it sold around 1,000 of them in just a few months.

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