YouTube has quietly rolled out a new policy banning videos that promote gun sales. Content that “intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories,” including bump stocks, is no longer allowed, according to a new policy made public on Monday.
The rule applies to videos that promote direct sales or offer links to gun-selling sites. YouTube will also start taking down videos that provide instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, or installing modifications to a gun.
The new policy will go into effect a month from now. A YouTube spokeswoman told PCMag: “While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories.”
The streaming service is making the policy change a month after the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people. Last October, YouTube also banned videos that showed viewers how to install bump stocks, a gun attachment that can make a semiautomatic rifle fire faster.
Gun enthusiasts are not happy with the latest rule change. “This is really bad,” wrote Full30, a gun video publisher. “1/3rd of my videos or more will need to be removed. If you don’t have them removed in 30 days, your channel will be deleted for policy violations,” Full30 claimed in their Facebook post.
Another gun channel on YouTube, with over 130,000 subscribers, said half of their videos violated the rules. The upcoming change will also undermine publicity for gun rights supporters, it claimed.
“You have to realize YouTube is a recruitment tool for Second Amendment advocates,” said an author behind the VSO Gun Channel. “To keep firearm issues relevant, you have to be on mainstream platforms.”
In response to the rule change, one gun channel called InRange TV said it will post videos on PornHub.