YouTube is cracking down on DIY gun content

YouTube is age restricting some gun content, as well as banning videos which demonstrate how to remove safety features from firearms. It’ll be nowhere near as impactful as finally getting U.S. politicians to implement proper gun control, but at least it’s something.

As spotted by Engadget, YouTube has quietly updated its firearms policy to restrict automatic and homemade gun content to viewers aged 18 and up. It is also forbidding demonstrations on how to disable some gun safety devices for everyone, such as features that limit a magazine’s release.

“Starting June 18, 2024, certain content showing how to remove safety devices will be prohibited,” reads a notice at the top of YouTube’s firearms policy.

“Content showing the use of homemade firearms, automatic firearms, and certain firearm accessories will be age restricted.”

It isn’t clear exactly when YouTube made these changes, but they were not present in its firearms policy at the end of February. Mashable has reached out to YouTube for comment.

In a new section added to YouTube’s firearms policy, the platform states that videos which show the use of either automatic or homemade guns (including 3D printed ones) will be restricted to viewers who are over 18 years old.

Videos which show the use of high capacity magazines, homemade silencers, or accessories which simulate or convert guns to automatic fire will be age restricted as well.

“Sometimes content doesn’t violate our policies, but it may not be appropriate for viewers under 18,” reads YouTube’s updated policy.

“These guidelines apply to real use of firearms and may not apply, for example, to use of firearms in artistic content such as a film. We may also make exceptions for public interest content such as military or police footage, news footage, or footage from warzones.”

If you’re over 18, you can largely continue to watch people on YouTube fire deadly automatic weapons to your heart’s content. However, creators can no longer post instructions on how to remove certain gun safety devices (which I sincerely hope nobody was doing anyway). This prohibition doesn’t include videos showing the removal of safety devices intended to temporarily disable firearms, such as gun locks.

YouTube’s firearms policy also previously stated that users can link to websites which discuss guns, provided they don’t directly sell firearms or any accessories banned from being shown. The policy has now been updated to note that linked websites also cannot give away said paraphernalia, which is a good loophole to close and also how I learned the horrific fact that gun giveaways exist.



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