Senator Brooks Passes Bill Banning Recreational Use of Flamethrowers

John E. Brooks

June 13, 2019

In what is a good example of “Common Sense” lawmaking. Senator John E. Brooks and the NY Senate Majority passed Senate Bill S1637, a bill that would ban the use of flamethrowers for as a recreational activity by making it a crime in the State of New York.

“Considering flamethrowers to be toys for recreational use is a bit of a head-scratcher,” said Senator Brooks. “This bill will protect kids, families, and neighbors from irresponsible and dangerous ‘play.’ Weapons of war do not belong in our backyards.”
Elon Musk's Boring Company released a new flamethrower, which sold out of all 20,000 within hours, without any concern to the training of the purchasers or their reasons for buying. Allowing the general public to access this type of machine is extremely problematic; some commercial flamethrowers can project flames up to twenty feet from the user and allowing untrained people to own these machines purely for the value of entertainment is dangerous. This bill establishes that owning and using a flamethrower is a criminal act, unless it is used for agricultural, construction, or historical collection purposes.

 “Fire is a very serious thing and should not be used frivolously, for entertainment or as a game,” said John D’Alessandro, Secretary of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.  “As firefighters, we constantly see the human suffering, property destruction and, sadly, deaths caused by fire.  We commend Senator Brooks and the Senate for their leadership in moving to ban these dangerous devices. We encourage the Assembly to follow the lead of Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre and do the same.”

Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (AD-11) the primary sponsor of this bill in the Assembly said, “We are all too familiar with the harmful toll that a fire can have on human life, and it is unconscionable to think that we would allow entertainment to prevail over public safety when it comes to the use of flamethrowers. I congratulate Senator Brooks and the entire State Senate for passing this important bill, and it is my hope that the Assembly will do the same before the end of the legislative session.”