When Austin Knudsen isn’t writing articles for TTAG, he has a side hustle as Attorney General for the state of Montana that takes up most his spare time. You can read some of his contributions here.
It’s safe to say he’s a dyed-in-the-wool gun guy. That, along with a healthy respect for the First and Second Amendments, was the motivation behind a letter wrote to YouTube’s Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki this week.
The letter was prompted by YouTube’s takedown of videos that gun dealer Jason Schaller had published showing how to complete a firearm including unserialized parts including an 80% lower. That activity, if you’re keeping score at home, is still perfectly legal in 45 states or so.
YouTube zapped the videos after a coven of some of the usual Senate suspects made veiled threats against the publisher if they didn’t sufficiently throttle back particular kinds of firearm-related content. In other words, federal officials demanded that a private company do what they can’t legally accomplish on their own via the legislative process.
Knudsen pointed out that the Senators don’t have the stones to sponsor legislation outlawing 80% lowers, “ghost guns,” or home made firearms because they know how unpopular that action would be and how little chance such a bill or amendment would have of passing.
Besides, they can always rely on sympathetic platforms like YouTube — that are run by people who revile the Second Amendment every bit as much as they do — to bend a knee to their demands.
He wrote . . .
…these Senators circumvented the democratic process and pressured a private corporation to do what the federal government will not. So long as YouTube acts hand-in-glove with federal politicians to repress constitutional rights, states will continue finding ways to reign in the power of Big Tech. It is past time that you considered the consequences of those actions for your company’s bottom line and withdrew your complicity from the trampling of rights disfavored by D.C. Democrats.
Given YouTube’s cooperation with the government to regulate and eliminate legal speech with which it disagrees, Knudsen then threatened state-level regulation of the platform as a common carrier if they don’t restore the content.
Here’s Knudsen’s letter . . .