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YouTube Announces New Firearms Content Policy

March 22, 2018

YouTube announced this week that it is imposing a new Firearms Content Policy that will go into effect in April. These new policies include prohibiting content that has the intent to sell firearms and accessories through direct sales and content that provides instructions on manufacturing firearms, ammunition, high capacity magazines, etc. To read the complete list of YouTube policies on content featuring firearms, click here.

On March 21, 2018, NSSF published a statement about what concern this policy change brings to our industry and our businesses. Below is an excerpt from NSSF's statement on this policy update.

"YouTube’s announcement this week of a new firearms content policy is troubling. We suspect it will be interpreted to block much more content than the stated goal of firearms and certain accessory sales. Especially worrisome is the potential for blocking educational content that serves an instructional and skill-building purpose. YouTube’s policy announcement has also served to invite political activists to flood their review staff with complaints about any video to which they may proffer manufactured outrage.

Much like Facebook, YouTube now acts as a virtual public square. The exercise of what amounts to censorship, then, can legitimately be viewed as the stifling of commercial free speech, which has constitutional protection. Such actions also impinge on the Second Amendment."

You may click here to read NSSF's entire statement on this change.

In addition, NSSF is asking supporters of the firearms industry to tell YouTube that this new policy is a cause for concern for our industry. NBS supports this NSSF advocacy to protect the firearms industry. If you wish to contact YouTube yourself and send feedback regarding this change, click here to learn how to do so.