NSSF on Google’s Growing Anti-Gun Policies

By Larry Keane

National Shooting Sports Foundation

NEWTOWN, Conn –-(Ammoland.com)- Google, a company that should know better than to censor the flow of online information, has chosen to ban search results related to firearms and other products it deems not “family safe” in its Google Shopping function. Until recently, gun-related products appeared just like other products in search results, giving shoppers a powerful price-comparison tool. But not anymore.

Google’s new, anti-gun policy, announced May 31, assigns a family status to all products. Products in the “non-family safe” or adult categories are blocked from Google Shopping and include guns, ammunition and knives, vehicles, tobacco and traffic devices such as radar scramblers.

As one blogger said, “Shame on Google,” for blocking information related to firearms—a constitutionally-protected product and, we might add, a product that millions of Americans rely on to protect their families.

NSSF is attempting to reach Google to urge the company to reconsider this discriminatory policy that is hostile to the Second Amendment. We also plan to remind the company and emphasize that firearms cannot be purchased online and be transferred directly to the purchaser. A firearm that is purchased online must be physically sent from one federal firearms licensee to another, with the latter conducting the mandatory FBI background check on the purchaser (represented in person) and then transferring the firearm only after the purchaser has passed background check.

The company’s new, anti-gun policy has rightly caused firearms owners to reconsider having Google be their search engine of choice. According to reports, the search engine Bing.com, for example, currently does not block firearms from appearing in shopping results.

Though Google Shopping works to aid commerce by making it easy to research products and pricing, Google’s new policy raises barriers to one of the country’s strongest economic trends—the robust sales of firearms and ammunition, one of the true bright spots in the U.S. economy. Firearms and ammunition sales are at all-time highs, accounting for a 30.6 percent increase in jobs from 2008 through 2011 and an overall economic impact of nearly $32 billion to the nation.

Google’s restrictive policy comes at a time when retailers and other online information resources have increased their content about firearms because of consumer demand. Fortunately, consumers have other online services to turn to instead of Google for their firearms information.

We all know the censorship challenges Google has faced in China and other countries hostile toward freedom of speech, just as we know of the company’s admirable efforts to overcome those challenges. The question arises: How can a company that supports the First Amendment with such zeal be so hostile to the Second Amendment?

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

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BRIAN
BRIAN
9 years ago

Google has now endorsed China's position in blocking websites! Hypocritical and the least! Can't have it both ways, Google!

Peter Geller
Peter Geller
9 years ago

At least this article is honest. Well done ammoland but to me this is a non-issue. As stated in the article these items are only blocked in the google shopping feature. This is different than the google search engine. I use google to search and that's all. If I want to shop I go to amazon. They were designed as a shopping site where google started as a search engine. Anyway as for me google won't miss what it never had!

Max Rodriguez
Max Rodriguez
9 years ago

Very good release by NSSF, I'm glad that they are making an effort to reach out to Google to find a resolution to the issue

Unlicensed Dremel
Unlicensed Dremel
9 years ago

From now on, any FREE service that Google offers with No advertisements, I will use, to bog down their servers – mail , calendar, etc. Anything with Ads that makes them money (searches, shopping, AdWords for MY non-gun-related business, etc.), I am dropping like a hot potato. Screw them – they must die.

Bukkiah Golden
Bukkiah Golden
9 years ago

Its more odd then odd. Google is NOT blocking searches for knives. Try "knives", and while "sword" is blocked, things like "cutlass" work (rapier and katana did not).

Nitrous Oxide must be kids safe too!

While alcohol itself is not present, lots of alcohol related products are there. Why no T-shirts with Guns on them google?

Clearly hypocrisy at google. OR they are being muscled by the FCC and current administration and reverting to Eastern European reflexes (though they didn't do this with respect to China).

mick wood
mick wood
9 years ago

Another thing to be aware of: Facebook and Google are too close to each other, and too chummy with those who would deprive us of our 2A Rights, obviously. Consider how important Facebook is to you.

mick wood
mick wood
9 years ago

I have a gmail address as well as another pair; I use Google to find a variety of things. Keep us posted; I'll use Bing until Google wakes up.