Gun-Rights Group Kicked Off Mailchimp over Unspecified ‘Serious Risks’


Guns displayed in a case at the Cabela’s store in Fort Worth, Texas, June 26, 2008. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

Mailchimp suspended Virginia’s top gun-rights group from their email distribution service, citing unspecified “serious risks.”

The Virginia Citizens Defense League said Wednesday that the leading email marketing service had blocked them from sending out emails through the service without providing a reason for their account’s suspension.

“There was no justification,” the group’s president, Philip Van Cleave, told the Washington Free Beacon. “They provided nothing. Basically, they just said we need to get our stuff and be prepared to move on.”

“In this case, our automated abuse-prevention system, Omnivore, detected serious risks associated with the account,” reads the email from Mailchimp to VCDL, obtained by the Free Beacon. “That said, this risk is too great for us to continue to support the account. We have to ask that you seek a new vendor for your email marketing needs. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.”

The Atlanta-based company blocked an email about Lobby Day, an annual pro-gun rally held in Richmond every year that is scheduled for Monday. The mayor has warned activists to stay away from downtown in Virginia’s state capitol over the coming days due to possible violence during demonstrations.

“The violence and the insurrections at activities we saw at our nation’s Capitol will not be tolerated in Virginia’s capital,” Mayor Levar Stoney said.

Van Cleave said Mailchimp offered “no explanation of what policy was possibly violated and no warning” before it began blocking emails about Lobby Day.

VCDL says Lobby Day will be a peaceful demonstration and should not even be described as a protest.

“Lobby Day in 2021 is like all our other previous Days — we are peacefully lobbying to protect our rights, we are not protesting anything. There are times and places for protests, but Lobby Day is not one of them,” VCDL said.

The suspension comes as major social media companies cracked down on President Trump’s posts on their platforms. Twitter permanently banned his account, and Facebook and Google-owned Youtube blocked him from posting videos indefinitely. Twitter also removed over 70,000 accounts involved in sharing QAnon conspiracy theories across the platform.

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