June 19, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 4, 2024

Washington, D.C. — Gun Owners of America (GOA) issued the following statements after YouTube announced a formal change in their policies towards firearms related content:

“Restricting access to adults only—for content that depicts wholly legal and constitutionally-protected activity—is wrong, and it aims to push a sinister narrative to minors that firearms are evil,” said Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President. “In turn, as younger generations come of age, they will not question or push back on further violations of our Second Amendment rights.”

“Alvin Bragg and his anti-gun friends have been aggressively pressuring YouTube to censor and directly prohibit certain content related to guns for years now, and sadly they just succeeded and free speech has once again become the victim,” said Aidan Johnston, GOA’s Director of Federal Affairs. “Congress must demand answers from YouTube on how influential DA Bragg and gun control groups were in facilitating this change in policy and determine whether the Biden Administration or it’s White House Office of Gun Control was weaponized to force the censorship of Second Amendment content.”

Background: This week, YouTube and parent company Google announced plans to change their policy on firearms related content – effective June 18th. Under the new policy, which will be retroactive and apply to all existing content on the platform, the following will apply:

  • Content showing the use of homemade firearms, automatic firearms, and certain firearm accessories will be age restricted.
  • Content showing how to remove “safety devices” will be banned.
  • Firearms in movies, video games, military and police footage, and warzone footage will not categorically be age restricted—creating a double standard for Hollywood and anti-gun corporate media.

In April, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg sent a letter to YouTube CEO Neil Mohan urging him to alter their algorithms to ensure that certain firearms content not be promoted. Additionally, he urged the company to directly censor and remove certain firearms-related content.

This letter came on the heels of Media Matters publishing an anti-gun propaganda piece attacking YouTube and certain content the biased “media” outlet deemed unfavorable. Additionally, in May of 2023, the anti-gun group Everytown published an article highlighting anti-gun research about YouTube’s firearms content from the Tech Transparency Project, which was a key citation in DA Bragg’s letter.

Anti-gun groups are continuing their crusade against online firearms content, with the hope of leveraging these efforts into censorship and lawsuits should social media companies refuse to comply. GOA—which runs a YouTube channel with over 175,000 subscribers and counting— will continue to push back.

Gun Owners of America is a nonprofit grassroots lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over two million members and activists. For more information, visit GOA’s Press Center.

-GOA-

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