Michigan company says it makes the 'world's first handheld flamethrower'

That's right, he has a flamethrower.  And for $800, you can have one, too.

It's called the "XM42" and they're made by Ion Productions, a Detroit-based company, who claims they're going to make "the world's first fully handheld, grab-and-go flamethrower on the market."

It was the idea of Chris Byars, a member of the Ion Production team.

"I've always wanted to own one and in 2007, we had the idea to thrown one together and make one.  Now, we are deciding to make one in mass production." Byars says his idea was partially inspired by video games.

Ion Productions put a funding project online and within 5 days they had raised $80 thousand from pre-orders.  The company has a prototype and is working out some issues before productions starts.

"We've been overfunded on our Indy to Go campaign, everybody is pre-ordering them," Byars says.

Flamethrowers have been around for years, used in World War II, and outlawed by the Geneva Convention for use during wartime. So why would you need one?

"If you want to clear your weeds in style, if you want to take out snow and ice, it has numerous practical purposes, but we're getting contacted by pyrotechnic display artists, people who are interested in concert displays," he said.

However, not everyone is thrilled with the idea of the mass-produce fire shooting weapon.

"It catches us off guard to see something like that is available," said Deputy Smith Forrest Smith with Mesa Fire.

Mesa Fire Deputy Chief Smith says they're not in the business of telling people what they can or cannot buy.

There's nothing stopping you from owning one in Arizona, in fact, they are only illegal in Maryland and California.

Smith like all firefighters just hopes those who own a flamethrower know what they're doing.

"We certainly want the consumer to be aware of what they're getting ahold of, and be very cautious of the impact of having something like that, not only on your own property, but your neighbor's property," said Smith

Still, the man behind the flamethrower stands by his product and believes people will use it responsibly.

"You should be punished for a crime, not simply because people think that it is scary, or might be offensive, or something like that," said Byars.

Ion Productions began selling their X-M-42 Flamethrower on July 1, with more than 200 ready on order.

Online: http://ion-productions.com/

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