A Not-a-Flamethrower device made by The Boring Company was found while officers from the Ontario London Police force were acting on a gang related search warrant.
Among the items found and listed, which included weapons and drugs, a Boring Company Device definitely stood out from the rest.
The perps, a 31 year old male and a 32 year old female are facing charges related to the drugs and illegal weapons, but there is still debate around whether the “Not a FlameThrower” device should be added to the charges.
The Legality of the Device
“Possession of a prohibited device or ammunition” and possession of a “firearm other than restricted or prohibited firearm knowingly not holding a license” can not technically apply to the Boring Company device because its ownership is not illegal.
This point was brought up in a 2018 Global News piece by lawyer Fady Mansour based out of Canadian Law firm Edelson & Friedman. This raised questions around the police report which was shared on twitter.
“You’re prohibited from possessing a certain class of firearms, and firearms are defined in the Criminal Code and other places as something that has a barrel and discharges a projectile,” said Fady Mansour. “This has a barrel but does not have a projectile, it doesn’t have a bullet of any sort that actually comes out of the barrel.”
This gang case falsely listed the gadget as a flamethrower, as it does look very similar to one, but it is not legally classified as a weapon.
The Boring Company’s Not-a-Flamethrower lies in a gray area under US and Canadian law, because the range of the flame produced by the device is small enough to keep it out of the weapons category.
Most law enforcement officials might not be aware of this though, and watching someone fire flames out of a machine can easily cause arrests and charges that are later dismissed.
Adjustments will definitely have to be made to clear up any confusion around the device, and the law needs to specify the status of the gadget to avoid accidents that can come about with false arrests.