As you may have already noticed the OhioCCW Forums are going through some changes tonight.
These changes are being made in light of recent discussion among the moderation staff, the coordinators, the Board of Directors, and the organization's legal counsel. These changes were made after considering the organization's risks of liability, the risk of liability to our cause, and while attempting to maintain an environment where controversial topics can still be discussed with civility.
Emphasis has been placed on the overall cause of gun owner rights and legislation, as well as a renewed effort to reform the image that this forum presents to the general public and new OFCC members who have been providing us feedback on their impressions of the forums. The first phase of the changes to the forums took place tonight and include the following:
- A complete re-organization of the layout of the discussion forums and one or two new forums.
- A renaming of some areas of the forums to better define what their intent moving forward is.
- The Ohio and National political forums are hereby limited to firearms politics and legislation.
- Changes to the For Sale forums are coming later this month - more news later.
- The Ohio Open Carry Discussion forum is now only visible once a user is logged into the forums.
- The "cop bashing" posts anywhere on the forums (but typically related to OC) will be deleted without warning. Multiple occurrences will result in account termination.
- The organization of impromptu open carry gatherings on OhioCCW Forums must be submitted and approved by Ohioans For Concealed Carry.
Historically, Ohioans For Concealed Carry has used restraint with respect to using open carry walks to protest an event or lack of action. Recently, a trend has occurred here where open carry walks and/or "protests" are being coordinated at a frequent pace. A more troubling problem is when a community, business, or other entity is found to be in violation of the law and the first reaction is to hold an open carry walk. These discussions have even resulted in some aggressive people contacting community leaders with colorful or threatening legal challenges without allowing OFCC the opportunity to diplomatically and civilly discuss the confusion - which forces us to enter the discussion on the defensive because of other's behavior.
When open carry walks / events are coordinated on our forums it is easily presumed by the casual visitor that OFCC has sanctioned, approved, and/or formally been involved in these activities. The same perception can be made by the private property owner or government entity where a open carry walk is coordinated, leaving the organization in a position it did not choose to enter into or may have coordinated differently than those done by the community on a whim.
In a worst case scenario, a community organized event primarily gathered within these forums in which Ohioans For Concealed Carry leadership had no involvement or intent to organize could potentially put the organization at risk of litigation it did not choose to become involved in: http://www.snowflakesinhell.com/2011/02/18/lawsuit-against-michigan-open-carry/
It is for these reasons that this policy has been discussed at length and will be adopted immediately. While we will not immediately delete the details of the event that has been discussed for this weekend, the further discussion of these events on OhioCCWForums.org will be locked and new threads will be prohibited.
The TOS & Forum Rules will be updated to reflect these changes in the near future, but the moderation staff will begin to enforce these rules immediately.
* Ohioans For Concealed Carry is not opposed to Open Carry. The act is obviously lawful in Ohio, and this organization has gone to bat for Open Carry quite often, most recently using it in Campbell, Ohio. We have privately and sometimes publicly worked to resolve open carry conflicts with various cities and we have arranged legal representation for many wrongfully harassed or charged.