The horrible news out of Arkansas where REALTOR® Beverly Carter was killed during a showing has prompted a lot of discussion in the industry about carrying a weapon for protection.
After all, REALTORS® often meet people they don’t know, and they may have to visit vacant or remote properties.
Before you arm yourself, make sure you know the rules, whether they are state laws or policies your managing broker might have in place. Here are some things to consider:
1. Illinois’ Concealed Carry law went into effect in 2013. To obtain a license, applicants must have 16 hours of training by a certified instructor, have a Firearms Owner Identification card, and meet residency requirements, among other items. (The Illinois State Police have a list here).
2. Know your office’s policy. Does your office allow you to carry a weapon on showings, and if so, what are the protocols for doing so? Some brokerages have a policy which outlines what the rules are. Check your office policy manual or with your managing broker to make sure you are clear on the rules. In absence of a brokerage policy or guidance, state regulations prevail.
3. Be aware that some property owners may expressly prohibit agents carrying guns on their property.
Want to learn more? IAR has a number of resources to help you.
- Webinar: Concealed Carry and the Real Estate Brokerage.
- DR Legal News Article: The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act and issues for Real Estate Brokerage.
- Illinois REALTOR® Legal Update: Q& A on Concealed Carry