Majority oppose ban on flamethrowers - 349 participants, 977 responses

Jan 20, 2016

A bill currently being considered by the House Criminal Justice Committee, HB 1600, would ban possession of flame throwing devices by private citizens, reserving their use for on-duty official personnel using them to suppress or control a fire. The legislation defines ‘flamethrowers’ as portable devices designed to emit a stream of flame for a distance of at least 10 feet. Possessing a prohibited flame throwing device would constitute a class B misdemeanor. On January 20, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH prohibit the possession of flamethrowers?” The results follow.  

“Should NH prohibit the possession of flamethrowers?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents


A total of 91% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 9% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 977 responses from 349 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A strong majority, at 88% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to a ban on possession of flame throwers.

  • “I haven't heard of any issues with them in our state, so no, I don't think we need to ban them.”
  • "Very useful tool for returning items into the soil making it rich for planting and productive. Why would it even be considered to take this away from law abiding citizens or land owners?”
  • “This is obviously an attempt at getting one step closer to banning many other things.”

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 12%, supported a ban on flame throwers.

  • “Why is that even a question? No one needs a flamethrower!”
  • “Only official personnel using the device to suppress or control a fire should have or use these.”
  • “Flame throwers are unnecessary for anyone to own unless that person plans on harming other people or people's property.”

Other: As noted above, 9% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Surprise over and interest in flame thrower ownership: “I didn’t know you could have one. Where do you get one? I could use one to melt the snow in my driveway.”
  • Discussing other options for regulation: “I think if the person buying one can state what his legitimate use will be, [then] OK.”
  • Questioning whether the devices are currently an issue: “Is there a flamethrower problem here in NH?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think NH should ban flamethrowers? Leave a comment and have your say! 


CMcKenney's picture
Chuck McKenney
- Nashua

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 12:36pm

Astonished to learn the ATF does not classify a flamethrower as a weapon and that just two states regulate the sale. I guess there's really no need to regulate flamethrowers when it's much easier to obtain a high powered, automatic assault rifle. 

JBenson's picture
Jacquelyn Benson
- Kensington

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 2:06pm

We want to make sure legislators are listening to you! The LFDA presented this write-up as testimony at the public hearing on this bill - and elected officials listened. The House Criminal Justice committee unanimously recommended that the bill not be passed. 

If you want to make sure your voice is being heard in other debates in Concord, head over to the LFDA Facebook page and weigh in on our daily discussions!

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