South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem Gets Flamethrower For Christmas. Will It Start Arms War Among Govs?

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By Mark Heinz, Outdoors Reporter

In what could be the start of a flaming arms race among Western politicians, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is showing off a flamethrower her staff gave her for Christmas. 

An inquiry into whether Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon’s staff might consider a similar gift wasn’t answered Tuesday. 

Still, it raises the question whether Noem’s rip-roaring good time with her new toy – as seen in a Twitter video – will start a trend among politicians in Wyoming, South Dakota and beyond. 

Perfectly Legal In Most States

Flamethrowers, at least the hand-held variety, are legal for civilians in most states. Although, and this should come as no surprise, they’re restricted in California. 

That’s why flamethrower enthusiast Allan Hovland is glad he moved from California to Sheridan. 

He bought his flamethrower online a couple of years back while still living in California. He had to have it delivered to a friend’s house in Nevada. And he could enjoy releasing jets of flame only on camping trips to that state.

Now, he’s grateful for the freedom to use his flamethrower whenever he wants to. He told Cowboy State Daily it comes in handy melting ice off his driveway. 

Like A Kid On Christmas Morning

In a short Twitter video, Noem is obviously having a (fire)ball as she uses her handheld flamethrower to torch a pile of debris on Christmas morning. 

According to the thread, Noem got a chance to use a flamethrower two years ago and joked whether it was “too late to add something to the Christmas list?” 

This year, her staff pitched in and made that wish come true. 

Airborne Models A Bit More Complicated

Other Western politicians might ask their staffs to go bigger and better and get them flamethrowers with backpack-mounted fuel tanks – which also are legal in Wyoming and many other states. 

However, if any elected officials decide to strike envy in the hearts of their peers by taking things airborne, they should bear in mind that flying drone-mounted flamethrowers aren’t that simple. 

They require a commercial drone pilot’s license to legally operate, and may be used only for commercial purposes, such as roasting wasp nests out of high spots. 

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