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Realtors grapple with concealed carry laws, safety and consent

Illinois was the last state to enact legislation allowing the concealed carry of guns. The law "has been such a big deal throughout the state," said Mike Drews, a real estate agent on a task force created by the Illinois Association of Realtors. The association is concerned with how the industry should handle this situation.

The real estate industry is in a unique position when it comes to dealing with these laws. The entire industry is based on meetings between strangers that take place over a large area in many different facilities or homes. Safety was a concern before this law was in place.

The association is having a difficult time nailing down the guidelines for realtors in the area. What happens if the homeowner says "No guns"? An association spokesman said that it isn't going to "put the brokers in the position of frisking down people as they walk through an open house."

The association has even drafted a proposed consent form. The consent form would include language such as "Sponsoring broker...disclaims any and all responsibility for any personal injury or property damage caused by any guest or invitee who enters your premises."

If nothing ever happens in regards to the safety of those that are viewing or showing the homes, then no one will have to answer any potential premises liability questions. But let's face it; the chances of nothing ever happening are probably pretty slim.

The readers of our Chicago premises liability law blog may be wondering who would be responsible if something were to happen.

What if a realtor was injured by someone carrying a gun onto the premises? What if the realtor wasn't allowed to bring his or her own weapon onto the premises? What if the realtor brought a gun and an invitee was injured? Is the homeowner responsible for the injury in these situations? Will an Illinois court find the consent form valid to eliminate broker liability?

Individuals injured in this type of situation or any other on the property of another should consult with a premises liability attorney to determine if they may have a claim.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Concealed carry law: Illinois Realtors consider implications," Mary Ellen Podmolik, March 4, 2014 

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