The move was initially interpreted as a response to the Parkland school shooting in America – though this has never been confirmed as being part of YouTube’s reasoning. YouTube has now reinstated most, if not all, the affected channels without comment. It has since been reported that its actions were a result of changes in content control.
Garry Doolan, BASC’s head of press relations said: “We’re asking YouTube to explain the reasons for this apparent attack on airguns. We would not expect a worldwide brand to behave this way and apparently without consultation, and this action has seriously undermined confidence is its ability to be a responsible, accountable platform for individuals and businesses that have chosen to host content with them.
“As the UK’s largest shooting organisation, we have asked YouTube to move quickly to give reassurance to the thousands of airgunners among our membership. We have explained that airgun shooting is one of the most popular shooting sports in the UK and is a key pest-control tool for many, many people. We have also highlighted that airgun shooting is the perfect introduction for young people into the sport of shooting, where all of the basic principles, including safety, can be taught.”