YouTube has banned “ghost” videos. They are still standing.

Shapiro pointed to Pillus’ case as proof that better federal regulation is urgently needed, saying the number of phantom weapons involved in crimes has skyrocketed in his state. The Philadelphia Police Department recovered 389 in the first eight months of 2021, up from just 95 in 2019.

National data on ghost weapons are incomplete at best. The ATF estimates that police recovered 10,000 privately-made firearms in 2019. In some cities, the numbers are rising rapidly. In New York City, the number of police seizures fell from 48 in 2019 to around 200 between the start of this year and mid-November.

In response, the Biden administration recently proposed a federal rule that would regulate the sale of homemade gun kits like all other guns, requiring buyers to pass background checks and forcing manufacturers to add from serial numbers to parts. But the rule is still pending.

In the meantime, some states and cities, including New Jersey and Los Angeles, have passed their own laws banning ghost guns or requiring buyers to register them once they’re built.

But the laws don’t focus on how people learn to craft weapons, leaving online platforms to control themselves.

Garen Wintemute, head of the violence prevention research program at the University of California at Davis, said the videos showing how to make guns make them easier to produce and should be a wake-up call for YouTube and d ‘other platforms to better control content.

“What YouTube and others need to consider is what complicity and what responsibility they face if they continue to allow this information to be provided, given the purposes for which it is being disseminated,” he said. declared Wintemute.

Firearms supporters: policy too restrictive

But Second Amendment supporters say YouTube is already aggressively enforcing its rules, and accuse it of going too far in restricting gun content. Some former YouTube users have moved to more niche alternative sites, such as Odysee or GunStreamer.

YouTube restrictions prevent gun owners, especially the more than 11 million gun buyers over the past two years, from accessing information that will help teach possession and control. ‘Safe and Responsible Storage of Firearms,’ said Mark Oliva, business director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents the firearms industry.

Oliva said the foundation “supports the use of videos that demonstrate the legal and safe use of firearms, including firearms that are built in the home by those with a legitimate right to own firearms. fire”.

“P80 Ralph,” who declined to give his full name, runs a YouTube channel dedicated to making guns that can’t be found at home. In a video interview set up via the email account attached to his YouTube channel, Ralph said his curiosity was piqued when a colleague showed him a photo of an AR-type rifle he had built. He asked himself, “How the hell do you make a gun?”

About Ethel Nester

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