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The Reload Staff Newsletter: YouTube Reverses Court on Deleting Gun Channels and 2A Rulings Pour In

Charlie T Waite

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There was a big splash in the culture war over guns this week. YouTube, the world's largest video site, had been going after gun channels over silencer-related videos before announcing the deletions were a mistake and restoring the accounts of those affected.

I report on how the ordeal went down, how gun companies and creators reacted, and what the social media giant is now telling The Reload about it.

The legal realm was very busy and rather explosive this week too. New Jersey saw two of its gun control laws blocked in federal court--Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman details how bad it was for them in a member-exclusive piece. Illinois also lost an appeal to reinstate its new "assault weapons" ban in state court.

A Fifth Circuit panel declared the prohibition on those facing domestic violence restraining orders unconstitutional as well. That ruling likely sets up a new showdown at the Supreme Court over how to apply its Bruen decision to such laws. I'll have more in Sunday's members' newsletter on what that showdown might look like and why the Supreme Court might not come down in the same spot. So, make sure you become a member if you haven't already!

Plus, Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms joins the podcast to talk about the ATF's inconsistencies.



YouTube Says Silencer Video Takedowns, Gun Channel Deletions Were Mistakes
By Stephen Gutowski

Social media giant YouTube has reversed course on deleting videos and channels featuring videos where a silencer is attached to a gun.

The video hosting site said recent moderation efforts aimed at videos where sound suppressors are affixed to guns were a mistake. The takedowns and channel strikes had appeared to affect videos, whether attaching the suppressor was part of a guide or just incidental. The company said it is now in the process of restoring videos and channels that were wrongly flagged.

"Upon review, we determined the videos in question are not violative of our Community Guidelines and have reinstated them," a YouTube spokesperson told The Reload. "When it's brought to our attention that content has been mistakenly removed, we review it and take appropriate action, including reinstating and removing associated strikes."

The reversal comes after channels with upwards of ten million followers run by suppressor manufacturers or professional content creators and those with a few dozen followers run by hobbyists had videos taken down and appeals denied. It is an example of another moderation controversy surrounding a tech giant and how it approaches gun content on its platform. It may spurn further distrust among gun owners looking to post or consume videos and could invite further scrutiny from already tech-skeptical Republicans who just took control of the House of Representatives.

Click here to read the rest.



Fifth Circuit Rules Disarming People Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders Unconstitutional
By Stephen Gutowski

A federal appeals court reversed a Texas man’s conviction for possessing a firearm while he was subject to a domestic violence restraining order.

A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit unanimously vacated the man’s conviction on Thursday, finding the federal gun law he was charged under conflicts with the Second Amendment. The panel ruled the federal ban on the possession of guns by those subject to restraining orders did not survive the test laid out in the Supreme Court’s recent New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen ruling. It found insufficient evidence that the restraining order restriction was part of the “historical tradition” of gun regulation, as required by Bruen.

“The Government fails to demonstrate that § 922(g)(8) ‘s restriction of the Second Amendment right fits within our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. The Government’s proffered analogues falter under one or both of the metrics the Supreme Court articulated in Bruen as the baseline for measuring ‘relevantly similar’ analogues: ‘how and why the regulations burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to armed self-defense,'” Judge Cory T. Wilson wrote for the panel in United States v. Rahimi. “As a result, § 922(g)(8) falls outside the class of firearm regulations countenanced by the Second Amendment.”

Click here to continue reading.



Analysis: New Jersey’s Gun Laws Had a Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Week in Court [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

The courtroom losses are beginning to pile up for the Garden State.

New Jersey has gone 0-3 in high-profile federal court battles this year, and it’s been on the receiving end of two temporary injunctions blocking its legally suspect gun laws this week alone.

First came a follow-up ruling on the state’s expansive definition of “sensitive places” where licensed gun carry is banned. U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb, a George W. Bush appointee, issued her second temporary restraining order against the state in a matter of weeks. She found that the location restrictions in the state’s Bruen-response bill, modeled after a similar law passed in New York, failed to comport with the country’s historical tradition of regulated gun carry.

If you're a Reload Member, click here to read more. If not, join today for exclusive access!



New Jersey’s Gun Industry Liability Law Blocked by Biden Appointee
By Stephen Gutowski

Gun-control advocates won’t be able to sue gun companies over the lawful manufacture and sale of firearms in New Jersey.

That’s the order U.S. District Court Judge Zahid N. Quraishi, a Biden appointee, handed down on Tuesday. The judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of New Jersey’s “public nuisance” law, Assembly Bill 1765, that sought to allow residents to sue gun makers who don’t “establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls regarding its manufacture, sale, distribution, importing, and marketing of gun related products.” The judge sided with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), an industry trade group, and found the state law violates the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which protects companies from liability for the criminal use of their products by third parties.

“Congress’s intent here is clear. ‘The PLCAA’s purpose is to ‘prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations, for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others When the product functioned as designed and intended.’ A1765 does just the opposite,” Judge Quraishi wrote in his opinion. “To read A1765 as fitting within the predicate exception would run afoul of the goals of the PLCAA and would, in fact, ‘gut the PLCAA’ as NSSF suggests.”

Click here to read more.



Federal Judge Blocks New Jersey’s Latest Gun-Free Zones
By Jake Fogleman

For the second time in under a month, a federal judge has ruled that New Jersey’s attempt to rebuff the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen is likely unconstitutional.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb issued a second temporary restraining order against “sensitive places” restrictions within New Jersey’s Bruen-response law. The state will now have to allow lawful gun carry in parks, beaches, recreational facilities, libraries, bars, restaurants, private vehicles, and casinos. The order also blocks enforcement of the state’s de facto ban on carrying in publicly-accessible private property; unless the owner indicates no guns are allowed.

“The State may regulate conduct squarely protected by the Second Amendment only if supported by a historical tradition of firearm regulation,” Judge Bumb wrote in her order. “Here, Defendants cannot demonstrate a history of firearm regulation to support these challenged provisions for which they have demonstrated Article III standing. The threat of criminal prosecution for exercising their Second Amendment rights, as the holders of valid permits from the State to conceal carry handguns, constitutes irreparable injury on behalf of Plaintiffs, and neither the State nor the public has an interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws.”

Click here to continue reading.



State Court Rejects Illinois ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Appeal
By Stephen Gutowski

Illinois’ lawmakers were served another defeat in state court over their latest gun restrictions on Tuesday.

A three-judge panel ruled two to one against the state’s appeal of an order blocking enforcement of its new ban on “assault weapons” and magazines that hold more than 10 or 15 rounds, depending on the gun they’re used in. The panel left the lower court’s Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which only affects the 850 plaintiffs listed in the suit, in place. The court ruled the state’s ban infringed on residents’ gun rights under the federal and state constitutions.

“Defendants have argued that plaintiffs have no right in need of protection and are unlikely to succeed on the merits; however, defendants’ arguments were based on an erroneous perception that plaintiffs’ right to keep and bear arms was not a fundamental right,” Justice Barry Vaughan wrote for the majority in Accuracy Firearms v. Pritzker. “As such, we find that plaintiffs’ allegation that the Act infringes on their rights as Illinois citizens to keep and bear arms is a sufficiently alleged right in need of protection.”

Click here to read the full piece.



Podcast: Bearing Arms’ Cam Edwards on Pistol Brace Ban Updates and ATF Inconsistency
By Stephen Gutowski

This week we have one of my favorite guests back on the show: Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms.

There are few people who follow gun politics as closely as Cam. And even fewer are capable of the intelligent analysis he commonly offers. So, I’m glad he’s back to talk about the complicated ins and outs of the ATF’s recent rule proposals and public statements.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I discuss a new Secret Service report detailing strategies to prevent mass killings.

The show is available on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the episode is also available on our YouTube channel. As always, Reload Members get early access on Sunday. Everyone else can listen or watch on Monday.



Analysis: Whole Community Effort Needed to Combat Mass Shootings [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

A new U.S. Secret Service report adds to a growing body of research documenting common behavior patterns among mass attackers. It also highlights the potential for community intervention, both broadly and on a small scale, to make a real difference.

The National Threat Assessment Center’s (NTAC) report published Wednesday analyzed 173 “mass attacks”—defined as incidents in which three or more people, not including the attacker, were harmed in public or semi-public places—between 2016 and 2020. The report uncovered many patterns linking various attackers to one extent or another, but what most perpetrators had in common was striking.

More than three-quarters of the individuals who committed mass attacks exhibited concerning behaviors or shared alarming communications before carrying them out. Nearly two-thirds exhibited behaviors or shared communications that were so concerning “they should have been met with an immediate response,” according to the researchers. Roughly 60 percent of the attackers exhibited behavior that caused others to fear for the safety of the attacker, themselves, or the broader public.

Often these concerning behaviors manifested in the form of expressed threats, actively making plans to carry out an attack, more minor acts of violence, or harassing behaviors.

For anyone who has spent time following the news coverage of these all-too-frequent incidents, the study results likely won’t come as much of a surprise. Time after time, it seems reports come out of the woodwork only after an incident has already transpired, revealing troubling details from an attacker’s past that, in hindsight, should have made it all too clear what was bound to happen.

But this new report makes clear that such perception is more than just anecdotal.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read more. If not, join today to read the whole piece!


Outside The Reload

California aims to limit concealed weapons. This time will it stick? | The Mercury News | By John Woolfolk

What’s more common: A ‘good guy’ without a gun — or with one? | The Washington Post | By Glenn Kessler

Mass shootings lead to widening divide on state gun policies | AP News | By David A. Lieb

New Gun Research Center Funded by Firearms Executives Aims to Diversify Debate | The Wall Street Journal | By Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson

First hate crimes, now mass shootings. For some Asian Americans, feeling safe means owning a gun | The LA Times | By Jeong Park, Hailey Branson-Potts, and Anh Do

VISA CEO says merchant codes for gun stores aren't necessary | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

‘Gun Safety’ Isn’t the Issue | The Dispatch | By Kevin Williamson

Federal judge rules wrongful death lawsuit against Kyle Rittenhouse can proceed | AP News | By Scott Bauer

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