If you watch a lot of old war movies, there is a good chance you have seen at least a few of the actors use a flamethrower.  More than just a way to eliminate your enemies, the flamethrower was used to instill terror in the opposing force.  Can you imagine anything more terrifying than a weapon that can shoot flame 50 or 100 feet?

Because of this, you probably thought they were illegal for you or I to own, right?  Apparently, this is not the case.

In fact, in all but a handful of states, they are completely legal to own.


Weapon Or Tool?

The main reason why owning and using a flamethrower is not an issue in most places is that most people consider it to be a tool, not a weapon.

According to an article on the CNN Business website, the United States military stopped using them right after the conclusion of the Vietnam War.  They were considered to gruesome, and dangerous, for combat use.

That's when, in a literal "Swords To Plowshares" move, people started using them more frequently as a tool.  They are great for lighting up unwanted brush anf fire departments use them for controlled burns.

There is also the "fun" aspect.  Come on, admit it, you think the idea of you and your friends shooting flames at things.  Right?  Yeah, we thought so.

That's why several companies are now selling flamethrowers online.  Ion makes a handheld flamethrower called the XM2.  The XM2 can reportedly throw fire 25 feet and it costs about $900.

Throwflame, an Ohio company, sells a few different flamethrower models.  They range in price from about $1,600 to $3,500.

Check out one of the Throwflame flamethrowers in action.


How epic is THAT!?

The ATF Does Not Regular Flamethrowers

The CNN Business article explains that, because they are not guns, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms does not regulate them.  That leaves the regulation of them up to the individual states.


Are Flamethrowers Legal In Maine?

As far as we can tell, they are completely legal in Maine.

In fact, the only states where you are not allowed to own them are Maryland and California (of course).

Of course, this does not mean there are not local ordnances that may prevent you from owning such a tool.  If you plan on getting one or using one in your town, make sure you check with the police department and / or fire department first.

And, of course, be safe when using your flamethrower.

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