This is NOT fake news, but whether it is some kind of a stunt cannot be ruled out.
Presently they are only available on a preorder basis on Boring's website.
Rather than c & p the MANY c & p based media articles on this, I will leave it that anyone can do a search and read about it.
I would really hope against hope that existing laws wherever you live already prohibit the sale and owning of such a "device" even over the Internet online sales route. But I'm not optimistic that such a law is either on the books or is enforced; I suspect that enforcement only occurs if it causes a fire and the local fire dept has to be called out--but that doesn't necessarily mean that enforcement is at the criminal level, i. e., arson.
However, there are a multitude of uTube vids by individuals who have constructed home made ones, i. e., they are not that hard to put one together via the DIY route, but of course they have no safety features. I have to ask the question that if you really wanted one to own, why would you need one with safety features? Ditto re anyone who builds one owning a fire extinguisher.
I am waiting on a crescendo of outcries against Elon for selling this at a comparable level to the recent outcries against female sexual abuse.
I would imagine that a person who ordered one on the internet could be tracked if he used it from criminal purposes.
I do think there are criminals stupid enough to look up how to make one on the net, and then have their browser history betray them as evidence.
I am not going to do any checking--I don't want to be put on any list of suspicious characters.
Sounds like something from a DC comic!
Update Late Monday Morning 01/29/18
Some media sites are calling this "Elon Musk's 'Super Terrible Idea': a $500 Flamethrower"
Among this site's news is a line that it's not absolutely certain that this is not some sort of a prank.
"Apparently, there's a large market for flamethrowers with Elon Musk's Boring Company has already sold 7,000 of them, less than a day after the flamethrower's been put up for sale.
This is according to the man himself, who tweeted a couple of sale figures on Sunday and Monday. Only 20,000 flamethrowers were up for sale, and currently there's only 13,000 left
And before you ask, we don't know. We don't know if Elon Musk's flamethrower is real — it definitely looks real in Musk's recent video, but we don't know whether it's legal to buy such a thing."
Me Here: I will wonder on this site if this is some sort of a prelude to a full blown mental breakdown of some sort.
And the one is the vid doesn't look like some sort of a thrown together mock up, i. e., I doubt if he built it himself in his basement; it looks like something one of his engineering depts. designed and had fabricated in an experienced manufacturing company.
Bottom Line: I was only following orders---Sound Familiar????
Elon (Yes, it's OK for all his admirers to address by his first name) made another stunning announcement today re a new & free upgrade to his People's line of Tesla cars. He stated that he was simply listening to his many followers requests (as in begging him for it) for this upgrade.
He has decided, all on his own mind you, to call this car Thee Road Rage model. The interior of this car's upholstery will be made out of Nomex material. And he will also offer as an accessory, Nomex coveralls in your choice of colors, i. e., to match the color of the car.
He also stated that his decision was also based on his MANY high tech visions for OUR future that no Tesla owner would be guilty of distracted driving due to holding some device in their hands while driving.
He has a cult following. I'm not sure he is more than a modern Barnum.
You have too much time on your hands, Jack.
I can think of many "legit" reasons for a flame thrower, none, of course, are legal.
In the U.S., some farmers burn off the stubble left in their fields in what is called a controlled burn.
Sometimes, the controlled burn gets out of control.
It looks like a supersoaker filled with paraffin to me.
An earner to keep his company afloat, allegedly.
Update 02/01/18 Bloomberg News
"It took Elon Musk just four days to sell $10 million worth of flamethrowers, generating an unusual source of revenue for his Boring Co. tunneling business.
On Wednesday evening, the billionaire said his startup sold out of the 20,000 Boring Co.-branded flamethrowers he started peddling over the weekend at $500 each. The money will help bankroll the boring machines, lawyers and lobbyists Musk is relying on to execute his plan to build tunnels under parts of Los Angeles and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
Debate is raging on internet forums over whether the devices are actually flamethrowers, which expel burning streams of liquid fuel under pressure, or souped-up blowtorches, which burn flames without the dramatic projections of a flamethrower. Boring Co. said its product won’t emit flames exceeding 10 feet, meaning customers can legally operate them in practically every U.S. state without a license.
“All flamethrowers will ship with a complimentary boring fire extinguisher,” Musk tweeted."
I wonder if anyone in the US govt thought about getting a court order to inspect the list of purchasers and whether any of them were on the USA govt Terror Watch List, Do Not Fly list, etc., or were convicted felons. Probably not I would think. In any event, any such individuals would be smart enough to have the item purchased by someone who is not on the list; in USA parlance that is known as a "straw man purchase"--typically used to describe a legal gun purchase.