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Gun rights group accuses YouTube of pushing ‘ominous narrative’ with new policy on firearms content

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Gun rights groups have accused YouTube of “pushing minors to a sinister narrative that guns are evil” by imposing new age restrictions on videos that show gun use.

In a letter obtained exclusively by Fox News Digital, Gun Owners of America wrote to YouTube CEO Neal Mohan on Thursday, saying the web video giant’s new “firearms policy” is of “serious concern.”

Google states on its website: Starting next Tuesday, June 18th, the company announced that “certain content showing how to remove the safety catch will be prohibited” and “content showing the use of homemade firearms, automatic rifles, and certain firearm accessories will be age-restricted.”

But “it is wrong to limit access to content that depicts constitutionally protected activities to adults only,” Gun Owners of America said in the letter. “This policy change seeks to push a sinister narrative that guns are evil onto minors and allow Hollywood and the anti-gun corporate media to continue pushing their false gun narrative unchecked.”

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A supporter of the American Gun Owners Association fires a rifle at a shooting range. (Gun Owners of America)

“Thus, when young Americans reach adulthood, they will likely find themselves less likely to question or resist further infringements of the Second Amendment because the truth has been censored,” the nonprofit lobbying group added.

“This update to our firearms policy is part of our ongoing effort to keep our policies reflective of the current state of content on YouTube,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Wednesday.

“For example, we have expanded content restrictions around homemade firearms in recent years as 3D printing has become more readily available,” the spokesperson continued. “We regularly review our guidelines and consult with outside experts to ensure we are drawing the line in the right places.”

A spokesperson said YouTube developed the changes in consultation with third-party experts, including law enforcement and public safety stakeholders, as it typically does when reviewing its policies.

But Gun Owners of America worries that “these developments and changes to the Employer Agreement will have a chilling effect on the First and Second Amendments, which is deeply troubling.”

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YouTube CEO Neil Mohan

YouTube CEO Neil Mohan speaks onstage at YouTube Brandcast 2024 on May 15, 2024 in New York City. (Noam Galai/Getty Images via YouTube)

“The timing of this rule change during an election is extremely suspicious as it clearly affects all Americans,” the company said. “Furthermore, we are concerned that this move was encouraged and engineered to unfairly favor the left through the creation of rules that only impact the Second Amendment community on YouTube.”

In their letter, the groups asked Mohan to answer seven questions about the policy change, including whether the Biden administration or the White House had any say in the decision.

“Has there been any lawsuits filed by gun control groups or Democrats to force YouTube to take this action?” the group asked.


Gun Owners of America has reached out to YouTube to see if Democrats influenced the new rule changes. (Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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“What is at stake is one of critical importance to both the First and Second Amendment rights of millions of Americans,” the committee concluded in its letter, saying, “We look forward to prompt action to address our concerns.”