TTP Statement on New YouTube Age Restrictions on Gun Videos


Contact: Michael Clauw,, 202.780.5750

WASHINGTON, D.C. – YouTube is quietly making changes to its policies for gun videos, including new age restrictions on content showing “the use of homemade firearms, automatic firearms, and certain firearm accessories.” YouTube did not give a reason for the changes, but they follow a widely covered report from the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), which found that YouTube recommended hundreds of videos about guns and gun violence to accounts for nine- and 14-year-old boys interested in video games. TTP’s report found that the recommended videos included demonstrations of 3-D printed guns and instructions on how to convert handguns into automatic weapons, and noted that YouTube took no apparent steps to age-restrict them. According to YouTube’s firearms policy page, the changes will go into effect June 18, 2024.

The group Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund highlighted TTP’s research in a series of recommendations to YouTube last year for dealing with gun content. They included placing age restrictions on firearms content, banning direct links to websites for buying weapons, and removing algorithmic recommendations of firearms videos to minors. In April 2024, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg prominently cited TTP’s report in a letter calling on YouTube CEO Neal Mohan to limit children’s access to homemade “ghost gun” videos.

In response to YouTube’s policy changes, TTP Director Katie Paul released the following statement:

“YouTube’s policy changes to age-restrict gun content are a step in the right direction, given that firearms are the number one cause of death for children and teens in America, but it’s not clear why it took the company so long to address the issue. As always with YouTube, the real proof of change is whether the company enforces the policies it has on the books. Until YouTube takes real action to prevent videos about guns and gun violence from reaching minors, its policies remain empty words.”

The Tech Transparency Project is a research initiative of Campaign for Accountability, a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.