YouTube Bans Firearms Channels

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Those who follow firearms, shooting, and tactical channels on YouTube know about the travails of Hickok45 on YouTube.  Venerable and old school, Hickok45 tests and comments on firearms manufacturers send him.  Sometimes he shoots his own firearms, but always, he shoots, comments and often provides history and mechanical commentary on the machines he is using.  Sometimes it is with admiration, sometimes slight disdain, but always honest and interesting.

Hickok45 met with disapproval from some redditors when he supported the NRA in light of the compromises the NRA recommended (e.g., bump stocks, enhanced background checks), but being a former LEO and old school like he is, I wouldn’t have expected anything else from him.  Just as interesting to me is Jeff Quinn of Gunblast, especially when shooting and commenting on revolvers, but always interesting.

Hickok45 met with several bans on YouTube for promoting products, but he never really did that and always appealed the decision, mostly meeting with reinstatement by those who run YouTube.  But all of these folks may need to find new homes.

Full30: I received an email from my Google/YouTube rep at 9:30pm tonight. He requested an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss YouTube’s new policies regarding firearms content.

This is really bad. Please read this carefully and a couple of times, and let it sink in. 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.

I wish this were a joke. It’s not. I feel horrible for reloading channels or NFA channels. Showing how to make ammo or even showing the installation of a silencer is prohibited. Hell, showing the use of a magazine larger than 30 rounds is prohibited! Belt feds are a no go.

I’ll try to find out as much as I can from my rep tomorrow. I mean, are legal machine guns and silencers being demonstrated really going to get us account strikes now?

Please read this guys… I’m in shock, but then I knew this day wold come. It looks like it’s here in 30 days. I’m at a total loss for words. ~Tim

Redditors are up in arms, because the Google guidance says the following.

“YouTube prohibits certain kinds of content featuring firearms. Specifically, we don’t allow content that:

Intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales (e.g., private sales by individuals) or links to sites that sell these items.

These accessories include but may not be limited to accessories that enable a firearm to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire (e.g., bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits), and high capacity magazines (i.e., magazines or belts carrying more than 30 rounds).

Provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories such as those listed above. This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities.Shows users how to install the above-mentioned accessories or modifications.”

“Manufacturing a firearm.”  Reddit understands that this means if you teach someone to field strip an AR-15 or replace a bolt carrier group and check head space (Brownells), you fall into this category.  If you comment positively about a particular firearm, part, accessory, or manufacturer, you fall into these categories.

Their temporary answer is to start downloading targeted videos.  But make no mistake about it, they’re pissed off.  There is also no mistaking the fact that at the moment, there is no replacement for the information and firearms channels on YouTube.

This could possibly effect other related videos such as tactical instruction where firearms are discussed, such as with Kyle Lamb, Travis Haley, Chris Costa, and John Lovell.

I’ve long thought that an alternative needed to be developed to YouTube other than Live Leak, but to date there is nothing.  Suffice it to say that the progressives at Google are winning this battle.  What happens in the longer term war will be up to someone other than Google.

You might have noticed that I rarely embed or even link YouTube videos any more.  I’ve made my choice – has the rest of America?


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  1. On March 21, 2018 at 2:29 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Just because the powers-that-be use electrons and cathode ray tubes, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to! Sometimes, old-school pen and paper and printing press and typewriter are best! The harder the big-shots squeeze You Tube and other social media outlets, the more they drive their own business to competitors – or competitors yet-to-be.

    No joking about an analog world; it still exists – very much so – even if the Zuckerbergs of the world think otherwise.

  2. On March 21, 2018 at 7:32 am, Fred said:

    Last I heard everybody was moving to Full30.

    I never understood why people get mad at these platforms. They have no obligation to keep your speech free. Stop begging them to let you speak. You sound like a whiner. When the service is free, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT and they don’t want you to be the product anymore so you beg them? That’s just unmanly. Do the honorable thing, go your own way.

  3. On March 21, 2018 at 7:33 am, June J said:

    The progressive socialists believe now is the time for all out assault upon liberty and freedom.
    They wrongly believe that we will go quietly into the night.

  4. On March 21, 2018 at 8:41 am, ambiguousfrog said:

    They think they have enough “dependents” or sheep to make these kinds of moves. Like a crack dealer gets you hooked. Personally I could do without all of it. Could be why the push for Net Neutrality was such a big deal to them. If TPTB could regulate or control the ISPs then they could control the alternatives as well. That’ll be next. They’ll put pressure on ISPs since they control the backbone (the source) and shut you down. If you find an alternative to Google or Youtube and you happen to post something they disagree with or factual, they can shut it down. Most recent example I know of is Ann Barnhardt had her site blocked by Germany, not directly but through using OpenDNS (3rdparty enforcement). OpenDNS told her website support to contact the German authorities who put her site on a list to be banned or restricted. OpenDNS would not discuss or remove the restriction from “the list”. Control the flow of information.

  5. On March 21, 2018 at 9:28 am, Herschel Smith said:


    You also can’t get to Robert Spencer’s web site (Jihad Watch) or GoV (Gates of Vienna) through AT&T.

  6. On March 21, 2018 at 9:51 am, Whiskey Tango said:

    They demonetize the hell out of everyone right of Nancy Pelosi. I have a channel myself and have actually tested this by uploading a video with zero commentary, it was literally a sped up drive through the nearest city to me. It was demonetized within moments of being uploaded, and was re-monetized three days later after I requested a review. I did two sets of videos on the FISA memo. Read and responded to the FISA memo – demonetized (remonetized later after a letter to youtube). Read and responded to the dem response to the FISA memo – monetized, no issues. Imagine that.

  7. On March 21, 2018 at 9:58 am, June J said:

    You’re correct. I pointed this out on another site that was discussing building and/or supporting alternative sites. Anyone in IT knows that is is fairly easy to block access to “offending content” via DNS or blocking the IP addresses directly.

    Shhh! I can get to both sites and I have AT&T internet.

  8. On March 21, 2018 at 10:02 am, Ca said:

  9. On March 21, 2018 at 10:42 am, CR Larsen said:

    “Just because the powers-that-be use electrons and cathode ray tubes, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to! Sometimes, old-school pen and paper and printing press and typewriter are best!” — Georgiaboy61

    “I never understood why people get mad at these platforms. They have no obligation to keep your speech free.” — Fred

    Yes, YouTube is owned by a private company but it, along with other digital platforms, is the new town square. The 2nd amendment protects our ability to have weapons parity against tyrants. Abridging our ability to get our message out via digital media bars us from “free speech” parity with our political adversaries. Giving this up means you’re allowing the enemy to dictate the terms of the battle.

    Also, you’re failing to recognize the difference in the respective parties MO. One radio talk show host observed that conservatives/libertarians dominate talk radio; the political left dominates television news/commentary. His hypothesis (which I subscribe to) is that radio is predominantly about ideas, facts, reason, etc. Television, because it’s primarily a visual medium, is about feelings. Speaking in the grossest of generalities our side is composed of thinkers, and their side is composed of feelers. Cutting us off from YouTube (a visual medium where a lot of the feelers are likely to see our message) keeps us from being able to reach those people effectively. Going to some alternative platform just isn’t going to get us the same number of eyeballs; we’ve been moved to the kiddie table, as it were.

    IMO we need to think about YouTube killing channels for political reasons like speech restrictions in “the company town”.

    Do you want simply to fight honorably or do you want to win?

  10. On March 21, 2018 at 11:02 am, Fred said:

    In other news:

    Facebook is shocked, shocked, that somebody ELSE would use your data to make money and influence the populace…shocked! BWA HA HA HA HA HA.

    So, the benevolent facebook collects all this data about you? And then some (other) bad guy uses the data but this use, of course, is not for your own good?

    Here’s the thing, the population, including the congress and other nations political’s, are soooooooo very stupid that they will play right into this. “We need to keep all the data facebook collects safe from somebody ELSE!!! We’ll get to the bottom of this, I can assure you.”


    When the service is free the product is YOU!

    News flash…critical information…The Internet is the worlds largest intelligence collection platform. Your personal information will be used against you. It’s to big a temptation. The money and power is too much. You are the target!

  11. On March 21, 2018 at 12:52 pm, ambiguousfrog said:

    My favorite was Operation Choke Point. If they can’t get you head-on, they’ll get you by other means.

    All disguised with good feeling phrases/names:

    The Fairness Doctrine
    Net Neutrality
    Affordable Healthcare Act
    Department of Homeland Security (I sure feel secure with the border leaking like a sieve)
    SAFE Act

    When put forward by evil, it’s meant to do the opposite of its “so called” intention.

  12. On March 21, 2018 at 1:27 pm, Fred said:

    CR Larsen,

    So youtube is the new town square? Do you want these companies nationalized? Who is going to regulate this parity you seek. And if there is controlled parity to where does Luther nail his thesis?

    If I want to be free to which side do I complain in this parity; the commie, top down authoritarian, command and control leftists or to the nationalistic, top down, command and control rightists?

    What do you suggest; do I join the right wing or the left wing of the all encompassing governmental global corporation body?

    Ps. The SCOTUS said that they can buy and sell elections. The gubmint will NEVER challenge this assertion. Freedom denied. You lose.

  13. On March 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm, George said:

    In addition to the points made by CR Larsen above; I have wondered whether this might not also have to do with restricting the dissemination of technical knowledge as it relates to gunsmithing and what could today be considered low tech (but none the less effective) firearms manufacturing methods. If such Youtube videos are available to Europeans then that is just one more reason that TPTB wish to “stop the signal”.

    As an example of what I mean, I would point to a fellow who goes by the name “Clinton Westwood” on Youtube and who has done numerous videos in which he has made at least two handguns, a rifling machine, given detailed instructions on heat treating critical parts, and he has done this using every day shop tools like a drill press, a router with carbide bits, files the usual dremel, propane torch and so on but NO lathe and NO milling machine. In the video that I will link to below, “Clint” points out that he has 25,580 subscribers and over 6,500,000 views (for all his videos) :

    Herschel, you are right to tell your readers to download targeted videos. Do it and make backups as well. Based on their philosophy of banning anything related to firearms “manufacturing”, Youtubers who are into CNC or traditional manual machining may have their videos banned as well, depending on whether they ever detailed the machining of any gun part.

  14. On March 21, 2018 at 1:38 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @ George,

    Great points. One of the things the progs hate about the AR is the fact that ordinary folk can work on it. Not every guy can build a 1911 from a block of metal.

    Any guy can take a carb rebuild kit with its float and gaskets and rebuild a carb, before the age of fuel injection and computer controls. Progs don’t like the ability to cross-discipline any more than they like right-to-work states.

    The more this is out there, the more that the “signal” gets understood and mimicked. But you “can’t stop the signal.”

    It’ll find a way.

  15. On March 21, 2018 at 2:12 pm, RIGO SPEN said:

    The “youtube is a private platform” arguments are more than a bit disingenuous, the reach and prominence of youtube makes it the ONLY video sharing site. Dailymotion has at best one tenth the monthly visitors that Youtube has – and something on the order of 7 billion views for Youtube versus one hundred million for DM. If Youtube can be brought to court for violating copyrights aka copy “rights”, they certainly can be liable for violating inalienable rights, our free speech rights. We the citizens own the internet, we give outfits like Youtube license to operate through our laws and viewership. We are NOT SERFS ON A DIGITAL PLANTATION. I’d like to see a movement to support an Anti Free Speech Tax on outfits like Youtube, Google, and Facebook. SURF FREE SERF FREE

  16. On March 21, 2018 at 2:52 pm, George said:

    By the way, the guy whose Youtube videos I linked to above; not surprisingly it appears he is already being defunded.

  17. On March 21, 2018 at 3:16 pm, I R A Darth Aggie said:

    “They have no obligation to keep your speech free.”

    That’s true. In which case, they have no business to pretend that they’re common carriers for things like copyright infringement.

    If they want to keep that safe harbor, then act like the common carrier they are otherwise pretending to be.

  18. On March 21, 2018 at 3:18 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Hence, download ’til your heart’s content. You don’t like it? I’ll see ‘ya in court, MoFo.

  19. On March 21, 2018 at 3:52 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Re:”We are NOT SERFS ON A DIGITAL PLANTATION. I’d like to see a movement to support an Anti Free Speech Tax on outfits like Youtube, Google, and Facebook. SURF FREE SERF FREE”

    President Trump ought to send the trust-busters after them, and dismantle the monopolies now enjoyed by Yahoo, Google, Facebook, You Tube and others in the social media-WWW techno-sphere. Their trust-busting should proceed from the premise that these things have de facto become public utilities – and no simply services which one may elect to buy or not.

    The powers-that-be will tell you that “bigger is better,” but that’s a bald-faced lie where economic and personal liberty are concerned. A free marketplace with alternatives for consumers is a much better model. And that doesn’t even get into the links these tech giants have with the deep state/surveillance state…

  20. On March 21, 2018 at 4:20 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Youtube is a public accommodation, therefore it must accept all lawful videos with narrow exceptions. It can reject pornography.

    It is illegal, as found by SCOTUS, for them to stop posting of videos for and about guns.

    Whether or not a US attorney will take up the case, which they are required to do, is another discussion. Private attorneys can take up the case, or cases, and sue. If they lose, Youtube will have to pay any loses and the attorney’s fees of the winner.

  21. On March 21, 2018 at 6:18 pm, Gryphon said:

    Ha. Ha. Ha. LOOK at WHO OWNS these major Internet Platforms.
    They Hate You.

    Act Accordingly.

  22. On March 21, 2018 at 7:54 pm, Fred said:

    Georgia Boy,
    You claim you want them to be a public utility then you go on to say that you want a “free marketplace with alternatives”. Those 2 things can’t coexist in the same space. You should look into what a utility really is and how it operates.

  23. On March 21, 2018 at 8:12 pm, Ned said:

    Here’s an alternative platform to Farcebook:

  24. On March 21, 2018 at 9:07 pm, scott s. said:

    I R A Darth Aggie brings up an important point concerning the common law concept of “common carrier”. This seems to me the best route of attack against platforms like YT.

  25. On March 21, 2018 at 10:54 pm, Jim Foster said:

    So they are going to give a steadfast dedicated group reason to go elsewhere?
    Eventually we will thank them for it.

  26. On March 22, 2018 at 7:56 am, Fred said:

    Amen, Jim!

    Why does the right want to force other people to do things? Maybe you could make them be a common carrier but why would you? They don’t want your kind. Are you going to then force diversity training on them? Ridiculous.

  27. On March 22, 2018 at 9:35 am, Brett said:

    Plenty of information has been exchanged before the advent of the internet (youtube). Plenty of communists have also been dispatched before the advent of the internet…

  28. On March 22, 2018 at 2:39 pm, Bruce Abbott said:

    Someone really needs to explain to these people at Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, ect that if you demonize people long enough and hard enough, you end up with demons.

  29. On March 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    So pointing out that Google is full of demons causes you to have demons? Did I get that right? Or did you fat-finger something on the keyboard?

  30. On March 22, 2018 at 4:59 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Re:”You claim you want them to be a public utility then you go on to say that you want a “free marketplace with alternatives”. Those 2 things can’t coexist in the same space. You should look into what a utility really is and how it operates.”

    Actually, you’ve made my point for me – thank you. You Tube, Google, Facebook, et al. want to have it both ways – by reaping the benefits of being treated like public utilities while also keeping the advantages of being in the private sector. That doesn’t even get into the fact that many of the tech giants – Amazon comes to mind as one example – are contracting to do work for the government, which complicates matters even further since that means the taxpayers now have a fiduciary interest in what these companies do. And as others have already noted, many of these tech firms are gathering intel and data-mining for the government.

  31. On March 22, 2018 at 5:01 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Fred @Georgiaboy,

    The problem arises here because there is no such thing as the free market in the U.S. There are too many regulations, tax advantages, tax incentives, political donations, etc., etc.

  32. On March 22, 2018 at 5:46 pm, Cold said:

    I see only one way to fight this. Every person who swings the least bit right of center needs to effect an absolute boycott of YouTube, Twitter, Goolag, et al, and publicize that boycott to the maximum extent. The only way to hurt them is their bottom line. When the only thing anyone can view on YouTube is puppies and kittens, their audience will drop dramatically.
    That will get their attention, but it will be too late, since none of us will ever come back to them.
    Joined Full30 today. Will investigate other replacements and endorse the best. I’m not looking back. I hope the whole fam damily of them turn into pillars of salt.

  33. On March 22, 2018 at 5:51 pm, Great news said:

    This is great news. This will drive factions. Accelerate please. Too bad they did not do this after sandy hook.

    Note, majority people do not care. Everyone one is TOO comfortable to care.

    Yes there is tons of great content on YouTube and much will be lost. Hope the originators put the content elsewhere.

    Ban guns and ammo and whatever else. Then maybe people will start to have something in common, even if they do not like eachother.

  34. On March 22, 2018 at 9:58 pm, CR Larsen said:

    John Nolte makes the same case for regulating Facebook that I’m making for YouTube but his article is more exhaustive than my comments above.

  35. On March 23, 2018 at 6:00 am, Rod Re said:

    I solved this not by complaining, but rather by refund YouTube. I pulled all my content from both my channels

  36. On March 23, 2018 at 11:34 am, Torcer said:

    There are times when one feels overwhelmed and depressed at the turn of events. We’ve got people who pretend to be ‘Liberal’ fighting against Liberty and there are those who can’t even use the proper words [From The Right Scoop]

    “Once again the far left liberals on “The View” are so nutty and insane that they’re making even Meghan McCain sound smart and conservative!!!”

    Do they understand that the phrase: “far left liberals” is a contradiction in terms?

    That’s akin to saying Anti-Matter Matter…..

    Set aside the true meanings of the words in that one is favourable to Collectivism [Socialism] and one is opposed to that being favourable to the individual rights and freedoms.

    The fact of the matter is that even if one incorrectly thinks that some meanings have changed over time. The word Liberty and underlying concept ‘libertas’ [Latin] liberte [Old French] that is mostly closely associated with the word Liberal have not changed. That is the false impression Leftists like to leave using that laudatory self-labeling of theirs.

    Can anyone argue that the people who want to deprive everyone of the most important liberty, that of self-preservation are advocates of Liberty?

    Can anyone argue that the people who want to deprive everyone of the Liberty of free-speech are advocates of Liberty?

  37. On March 23, 2018 at 3:29 pm, Scott in Phx said:

    Time for a “guntube”.

  38. On March 23, 2018 at 7:39 pm, Talktome said:

    FYI, some firewalls for commercial use come with guns as a blocked category as a default setting. We always clear that setting, because we live in a part of the country that doesn’t take their cues from msnbc and governor moonbeam.

  39. On September 5, 2018 at 12:28 pm, Cerakote Prescott Arizona said:

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  40. On March 26, 2019 at 9:32 am, Roy Odhner said:

    I think that gun owners need to come up for air and quit deluding ourselves that everything that doesn’t go our way is part of some evil cabal’s plan to disarm us and herd us into a closed-down Kmart turned internment camp. It appears the problem was a snafu of some sort. Not an unreasonable explanation, and not an indication of some sinister plot. We (gun owners) come across a paranoid whiners every time we start brewing-up these conspiracy theories and demanding that others allow us to express ourselves and our views on guns and the 2nd.

    if we don’t like it, then we need to develop our won alternative. The NRA has big bucks, and so do many conservative PACs. We can create an alternative to Google or any other search engine. It just happens to cost money. Instead of whinning that others allow us to essesntially force our beliefs on others, we create our own search engine and our own video channels. How many of us own guns or have licenses to carry? I’ll pony-up $100 for the cause.

    However, it can’t be controlled by de facto fascists. There are many of us who don’t think that “reasonable gun laws” are an impossibility, who don’t think that a ban on certain types of long arms is the prelude to communist take-over, and who do not think that open carry is a swell idea. Are you willing to allow us to express our views? If not, then the powers that control this new search engine and gun-friendly programming are no better than the tyrants we envision at You Tube.

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You are currently reading "YouTube Bans Firearms Channels", entry #18848 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Gun Control,Guns,Media and was published March 20th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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