YouTube bans bump stock videos after Las Vegas shooting

YouTube has banned bump stock tutorial videos after gunman Stephen Paddock used rifles equipped with the devices to kill 58 people and injure almost 500 in the Las Vegas mass shooting this month.

The company said the decision to ban videos showing how to use the devices, which allow semi-automatic rifles to simulate full auto fire, was the result of its expanded policy prohibiting “harmful and dangerous content,” The Hill reported.

“We have long had a policy against harmful and dangerous content,” a YouTube spokesman told The Hill. “In the wake of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we have taken a closer look at videos that demonstrate how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly and we’ve expanded our existing policy to prohibit these videos.”

According to YouTube’s community guidelines, the site also bans videos that promote violence, hate, threats, or scamming attempts. Hundreds of thousands of videos are posted to the site daily, so the company relies on its over one billion users to report videos that may violate the guidelines. Those reports are then reviewed by the company and taken down if found in violation.

One such user, who had a bump stock video recently flagged and taken down, decided to post YouTube’s explanation on Instagram.

“YouTube doesn’t allow content that encourages or promotes violent or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death,” the company said in their explanation. “For example, it’s not okay to post videos showing drug abuse, underage drinking and smoking, or bomb making.

“The only depictions of such activities that we may allow need to be educational or documentary in nature and shouldn’t be designed to help or encourage others to imitate them. When uploading a video, make sure to post as much information as possible in the title and description to help us and your viewers understand the primary purpose of the video.”

“It looks like YouTube is on a rip,” the user added in his post. “They’re removing all SlideFire videos and issuing account strikes to all content creators who have them. The snowflakes are melting.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the U.S. Congress are considering legislation that would ban bump stocks. Democrats have unanimously backed the proposals, and the bills have even gained some Republican support over the past week. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was open to taking a look at the proposed legislation in a Thursday interview but that he would not consider the “Australian” option.

The National Rifle Association also weighed in on the issue, saying last week that they would support a review on the devices to see if more regulations were needed.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute then issued joint statements on Monday, calling on Congress to let the ATF try and determine whether bump stocks comply with federal gun regulations before taking legislative action.