New Congressional Letter Demands Answers On Why Dozens of Videos Showing How To Make Ghost Guns, In Clear Violation of YouTube Policies, Remain Online
Letter Follows an Everytown Support Fund Investigation Into Ghost Gun Videos on YouTube
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements applauding a letter sent by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Ed Markey (D-MA) to YouTube demanding answers about the proliferation of ghost gun instructional videos on the platform.
In December, an Everytown investigation found that the platform hosts dozens of videos teaching users how to to construct deadly, untraceable ghost guns at home — using both prefabricated 80-percent-finished kits and 3D printers to construct firearms. While some of the videos were taken down following an Everytown letter to YouTube in December, dozens of videos are still easily accessible showing users how to construct these deadly firearms. Today’s letter asks YouTube to provide written answers clarifying its enforcement practices, given its own community guidelines prohibit such content.
“Untraceable ghost guns are one of the fastest growing threats to public safety, and the fastest way to learn how to put one together is to watch a video on YouTube,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Every day these videos remain online is another day YouTube is making it easier for criminals to avoid background checks. We’re grateful to Senators Blumenthal, Menendez, Murphy, Booker, and Markey for demanding answers as to why YouTube is still hosting ghost gun videos that violate the platform’s own guidelines.”
“Dangerous videos, providing step-by-step guides on how to create untraceable firearms at home, don’t just violate our sense of morality, they violate YouTube’s own policies,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We’re encouraged to see gun sense champions in the Senate push for further action to help keep our communities safe.”
The rise of ghost guns is one the fastest-growing gun safety threats in recent years. In May, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), issued a proposed rule to stop the proliferation of deadly, untraceable ghost guns –– a move that Everytown first called for from the Biden-Harris Administration in December 2020. The proposed rule will strengthen the regulation over frames, receivers, and ghost gun “kits”, therefore requiring that the core parts for ghost guns be sold with a serial number and a background check.