Texas Gun Vault YouTuber on suspension for “building” a gun

Texas Gun Vault YouTuber on suspension for “building” a gun
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Earlier this year back in January, I reported about Jason, the content creator behind the Texas Gun Vault. Jason and his channel were demonetized at the start of the year with little warning or chance to speak to his appeal being denied. Earlier this week I had touched base with him about some other unrelated items to discuss, and he warned me that his channel may not seem active for the next couple of weeks. I asked what the deal was and he told me he’s on suspension.

The Texas Gun Vault channel is not a huge channel, but Jason does have over forty thousand subscribers. Looks like he picked up over 8,000 in the last year. Kudos! That’s nothing to scoff at and that’s a hell of a lot more subscribers than the paltry sixty I have going for me!

Jason runs the Texas Gun Vault (TGV) YouTube channel. What first attracted me to Jason was his pragmatic, down to Earth, and not over the top demeanor. A student of mine (hi, Sal) had shared some of his videos with me and that was all it took, I subscribed. On TGV (and TGV II), there are different types of videos. Jason does extensive gear reviews and periodically covers the week’s Second Amendment News. A popular segment he does is the question of the week. At 32,000 subscribers and over 1,000 videos, TGV is not a huge, Earth shattering channel. However, I don’t think 32,000 subs is anything to scoff at and I’d say that’s successful. At one point or another, Jason’s hard work started to bear fruit, and his channel got monetized.

It was explained to me that he’d get a few notices here and there about violating the terms and conditions of YouTube, but he’d always win on an appeal. Jason’s channel is actually mild when it comes to both the “gun stuff” and “political stuff”. You’re not going to surf through the TGV archives and find videos of people blowing up appliances with tannerite, converting firearms to full-auto, or anything else that might make the delicate eyes and ears of YouTube sensors or viewers bleed. Let’s be clear here, that’s not to say that those types of videos are bad or should be censored, it’s just to say that that’s not the TGV style. Nor is fire and brimstone analysis of current affairs. TGV’s content is very interesting, informative, and high quality, as well as being safe, calm, and pragmatic.

After succumbing to those issues earlier this year, I was not happy to hear that he’s been given more misfortune from the overlords at YouTube. What were Jason’s violations this time? Did he even get an answer out of them? This is what he told me:

Well, YouTube gave me a community guidelines strike for a 2 year old video where I unbox a silencer and they claim I show how to build a gun. I am locked out of my account for 1 week.

I appealed and lost. So if you don’t see my channel active for a week you know why.

YouTube’s gonna YouTube, aren’t they. Jason told me that when he put the suppressor on the firearm, YouTube considered that “building” a firearm, and that’s how he got the suspension. The fact that he lost on appeal just adds insult to injury.

I can send you screenshots of what YouTube sent me; however, they deleted the video. I can probably go into my archive and find the video itself. It was an unboxing of a SilencerCO Omega 9K.

The common denominator seems to be that they are considering any video where you show a suppressor as it is being attached to a firearm as assembling or building a gun. GunsAmerica, Alabama Arsenal and myself were just a few channels hit recently. I went back and made private a lot of silencer videos. If you show the silencer already attached to it, it’s ok.

We’re not going to win a battle of the minds when trying to explain the technical aspects of firearms to whomever is answering to appeals at YouTube. Who even knows if a human is answering the requests anyhow, and if they were, whatever flowchart they use is not going to give them the answer we’re looking for.

This battle is a social battle where we shouldn’t have to be explaining why threading a suppressor onto a firearm is not building a gun, but rather that the building of firearms in a safe and responsible way should not be on the cutting block at all.

What’s the recourse in such a situation? Jason explained how biased the standard is and how it’s set up to allow creators to fail.

They do not give you a chance to remove it even if the violation occurred when the new rule was not in place. So you can have a video that you made following the rules of the time and you can now be guilty ex post facto. It puts a lot of high volume content creators in jeopardy.

I looked over the screenshots Jason sent me from YouTube. The infractions and YouTube’s policy were highlighted in the correspondence Jason received.

Hi Texas Gun Vault,

Our team has reviewed your content, unfortunately, we think it violates our firearms policy. We’ve removed the following content from YouTube:

Video: Unboxing: SilencerCo Omega 9K

How your content violated the policy

Content that instructs viewers on how to make firearms, ammunition, and certain accessories; or how to install certain accessories is not allowed on YouTube.

It was only the other week that I reported on Dan Wos’s show The Loaded Mic getting completely removed from YouTube. They have their rules and I get that. To the people that say we need to pack up our marbles and play elsewhere, I respect, however I feel that we need to stay on all the platforms that don’t like us, and be a painful reminder that we’re still here. The LGBTQ+ movement did not gain any traction by staying invisible. The civil rights movement did not get momentum by being quiet.

This Second Amendment thing of ours is a civil right. While I advocate for people to set up as many parachutes as possible by using other hosting platforms that are friendly to our way of thinking, or at least won’t censor our content, I think remaining in the face of our advisories is incredibly important.

What can we do? I’d say write Congress, but we can barely get them to act on things that are within their scope, never mind put pressure on a private business. I’m not too sure it’s anyone’s job to intervene in a private business’s way of executing their own policies. However, if these big tech corporations are going to have the protections that they have, they need to level the playing field and play nice with everyone. That is something that is within Congress’s purview.

Remember when you’re taking in any content from creators you enjoy, do like subscribe, and share. Make comments. Do everything in your power to help the algorithms learn that the content that you like is quality and deserves to go to the head of the class. It’s going to be a long week for Texas Gun Vault fans not getting any content, but I’m sure Jason will be back with bells on in 2023, with all new and exciting content.