Cops Show Up At Popular YouTuber’s Door Looking For His Elon Musk Flamethrower

Cops Show Up At Popular YouTuber’s Door Looking For His Elon Musk Flamethrower

Popular YouTuber Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell just wants to own a flamethrower. Or well, technically it’s a “Not A Flamethrower,” aka a glorified propane torch mystifyingly produced by that one Elon Musk company that digs tunnels.

Police in Cassell’s home of Manchester, England, however, don’t love it.

Cassell claims police first started asking around about the Not A Flamethrower last week on August 10. Problem: Cassell was out of town. Apparently, though, police had seen him using his new toy in YouTube videos, and they found it to be in violation of firearms law. According to Cassell, three officers showed up at his house, and a friend who happened to be there at the time snapped a photo, which Cassell posted to Twitter.

This week, Cassell returned home, and he says that today officers came to his house.

“When I first spoke with them, they asked for me to hand over the Not A Flamethrower, to which I replied that I wouldn’t being doing [it] as I’m awaiting legal guidance before making any decisions,” Cassell told Kotaku in an email.

His lawyer is currently in Africa, he said, making it difficult to talk through exactly what steps he should take next. Despite some initial confusion on the matter, the police apparently did not have a warrant for Cassell’s arrest, and Cassell said they wanted to resolve the situation “on the lowest level.” So they agreed to let him speak with lawyers and resume the conversation on Friday.

Cassell is a YouTuber known for his daily vlogs and also has one of the most-followed accounts on Twitch, where he sporadically streams games like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Call of Duty.

It’s also kind of a miracle that he still has any of that, because you might remember him from the Counter-Strike gambling fiasco that led to Valve cracking down on the entire multi-billion dollar skin gambling scene in 2016. Along with fellow YouTuber and partner Trevor “TMartn” Martin, Cassell promoted a skin gambling site called CSGO Lotto without overtly disclosing that he helped found it.

Despite the ensuing furore and an FTC investigation, Martin and Cassell got off with a slap on the wrist.

While the Not A Flamethrower is, in most regards, a terrible idea, it’s not technically a flamethrower. The Not A Flamethrower was produced by Musk’s Boring Company (that’s it’s name, not my appraisal of it) in a moment of frenzied capitalistic excess earlier this year.

Why? Because when you’re incomprehensibly rich, there’s no limit to the gimmicky marketing stunts you can pull off. Musk and company made 20,000 of the things. Each one cost $US500 ($687). They sold out in days. The “Not A” bit is Musk’s tongue-in-cheek attempt at getting around customs regulations, which tend to be opposed to companies shipping fire-belching mini-cannons all over the place.

Also, Musk’s device spurts flame up to a distance of less than ten feet, meaning that it falls outside the range that requires people to obtain a $US425 ($584) permit in Musk’s adoptive state of California. That hasn’t stopped lawmakers from trying to regulate it, though, given that California is currently experiencing its worst wildfire season, er, ever.

“If I wanted another Not A Flamethrower, I could just buy a weed burner that you can buy off Amazon,” Cassell said earlier today on Twitter.

That’s also part of why he’s fighting so hard to try and hold onto his piece of incredibly ill-advised Musk memorabilia. It’s more about who made it, he said, not what it is or can do.

“Elon Musk, a billionaire, gets bored and decides ‘I’m gonna sell a flamethrower!’” Cassell said to Kotaku. “Having that ability to just say, ‘I’m gonna do this today’ and then doing it is amazing, and for that I tip my hat to Elon.” He also compared Musk to Iron Man.

Cassell says he’s sealed up his Not A Flamethrower so that it’s no longer functional and has considered also removing mechanisms so that it’s further unable to produce its signature, largely useless Musk-branded wisps of flame.

“If I had to hand over the Not A Flamethrower to the police, I’d be absolutely gutted,” Cassell said. “It’s not just a Not A Flamethrower to me. It’s a collector’s item that can never be replaced, and I really don’t want to part ways with it.”

Truly, it would be a tragedy. We can only hope that Elon Musk will build a flamethrower-sized submarine to try and save the day. 


  • a friendly reminder that the sort of firearms pedantry that lets weapons get though firearms laws is something mostly restricted to the US. Try it anywhere else and you just win a place in case law history (also possibly fines or imprisonment).

    • Thats the thing too, being pedantic about the defintion of what is and not a flamethrower would make soneone reasearch it and a ruling. (Also doesnt help its lower half is modelled after a assault rifle btw)

      At the moment the police are concerned of the possesion… its better to accept that their concerns are valid and hgetand it over willingly, confiscation without further charges.

      Cause if he argues and loses… its not only recieving, possesion, use of (in a residential area) and importation of a prohibted weapon.

      • Thats the thing too, being pedantic about the defintion of what is and not a flamethrower would make soneone reasearch it and a ruling. (Also doesnt help its lower half is modelled after a assault rifle btw)

        Yeah but as has been done before in terms of firearms, if he can prove that another existing product falls within the exact specifications, this can lead for this very product not to be labelled a flamethrower potentially. If there really *is* a weed burner that has these exact same specs, it’s entirely possible he’ll get to keep it under that standard. I’m not saying it’ll happen and it’s entirely possible it’ll backfire with the weed burner banned too, who knows. But it’s always possible.

  • The reality is that, once you remove the cladding, it IS just a weed burner. It doesn’t have the internal structure or the fuel source of an actual flame thrower.

    So what could possibly be the charge here? People are free to buy weed burners and be colossal dickheads on youtube with them.

    This is just an incredibly ignorant fishing expedition by the local village idiots, which is now propping up the career of a guy who profited from getting kids into gambling.

    • I suppose it depends on how he was using it. I haven’t seen any videos so I can’t say for sure but, if he was doing something people might reasonably assume was dangerous he might have a problem. that is if there was legitimate reason to fear your house being burnt down by a nut with a weed burner cops would probably still confiscate the burner even if owning it was legal.

      • I disagree with that logic. After all you can fill a super soaker with lighter fluid and wreak havoc too but not ban super soakers outright. Heck pour some fuel into a bottle shove a rag in it and you’re good to go. So ban bottles and rags?

        Unless the guy has actually done something he can be charged with (like endangerment or property damage) who cares if he’s got a toy that shoots fire?

        • For some reason that post didn’t end up where it was supposed to. Should be in reply to @wellthatsjustsilly.

          Also forgot to add.

          One big difference between this and military flamethrowers is that the fuel for them is designed to stick and keep burning. The “not a flamethrower” may ignite your clothes but it’s not “sticky”.

          • Sorry that’s kind of what I meant. I haven’t seen the videos so if he was doing something genuinely dangerous then the police would confiscate the offending tool as evidence. I certainly don’t mean to ban them. especially not for one guy who may have done the wrong thing.

          • Yeah all good, I agree with your logic, the cops could legally impound anything being used in a dangerous manner even if the item itself is legal. That reply was aimed at someone else’s comment but for some reason it attached to yours. I think maybe I typed the reply to another post but didn’t click submit before clicking reply on yours.

    • If the video is anything to go by, it’s nothing like a weed burner. Weed burners fire blue flame in a tight cone a foot at most, the video shows this device firing orange flame a good 2-3 feet in a wide turbulent cone. Orange flame is a lot more dangerous than blue flame when it comes to risk of starting a fire.

      Of course, I think weed burners are a stupid idea too, they’re an enormous fire hazard for something that can be done much more safely by other means.

      • It’s an inefficient weed burner, but a weed burner nonetheless. The construction is identical, and if you want to get big showy fireballs out of a stock weed burner it is dead easy.

        I could have big burping flames coming out of my BBQ or stove top, doesn’t mean it’s some other appliance.

        And yes, they’re a bit idiotic unless being used for controlled burns, but the problem is with the imaginary line being drawn by law enforcement.

        • If a safe device can be modified to be unsafe, then it is quite possible for the act of modification or possession of the modified device can be illegal without there being restrictions on the unmodified device.

          So it doesn’t necessarily follow that the Elon Musk Flamethrower would be regulated as a weed killer everywhere.

          • Musk’s toy meets those regulations, it very clearly was designed to not classify as a flamethrower in its unmodified state.

          • The story says it meets California’s regulations. This is about someone in the UK, and it isn’t at all clear The Boring Company checked regulatory compliance in every country.

    • Judging by the pictures in this article, his crime is “being a massive dickhead” and he should be thrown into the slammer immediately.

  • It shoots flames. How is not a flame thrower?

    Not to mention it is basically a gun and could be used to seriously hurt someone.

    Now I am not saying that this giuy would do that but what if a kid grabbed this thinking it was a super soaker?

    The guy should not have been suprised when police came a knocking.

    • Not to mention look at his video! He should not be making light of suck a tool.

      Kids watching that will think its a cool fun thing to do.

      Bloody new generation of fire starters incmoming.

      • Wel it sure does look like a fun time, provided you are being sensible with it!
        I had a friend as a kid who’s older brother, at maybe age 12, made a “flame thrower” much like this but out of lego pieces and a small bottle of lighter fluid.
        There will always be a way for people to do silly things.
        They used to call it natural selection

  • I am 45. When I was younger, we made slingshots out of rubber gloves and lots of rubber bands. It punched holes in things with ball bearings. We laughed until we had tears streaming down our faces.

    It was the 1980s and we had a blast being tearaways.

    But there was always one kid, he was the kid that had no filter. He didn’t see anything wrong with showing things off at school in a show and tell kind of fashion and when he attracted attention, he had that kinda hurt look of “uuuuuh what did I do wrong? I don’t understand? Its not a weapon. Its a slingshot for target practice. Honest”

    Christ. If you don’t want attention from all corners of society, why tube it in the first place?

    Oh wait, I know the answer to this one. It’s ahhh…it’s……uhhhh….it’s….

    ….attention seeking?
    ….external validation?

    Kids, this is my stop. It’s time for me to get off this crazy-ass bus.

    I’ll leave you with what my dad told me after we all got dobbed in by Mr Idiot, right before we got grounded:

    “Work hard. Play Hard. Don’t get caught.”

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