By Chris Herzog
In a continuing effort to prepare for blood running in the streets of the Land of Lincoln, the Illinois Association of Realtors late last week distributed a consent form that real estate firms and their agents can present, if they choose, to sellers so homeowners can make it clear whether or not they would allow a potential buyer with a concealed firearm inside their property. In the event a seller decides to prohibit guns, an agent would put the state-authorized no-guns sign outside of the home during all showings and open houses . . . [WARNING: Annoying auto-play video after the jump.]
In an admission that this is a non-problem in the rest of the United States, chicagotribune.com reports that the group actually acknowledged that this is the first time any Realtor group has done anything like this, anywhere:
In developing the consent form, the Realtors’ group found no examples of real estate groups in other states taking such steps, but members of its task force found little evidence that concealed carry was the hot-button issue in other states that it has been in Illinois, the last state to allow concealed carry of guns.
It’s obvious that Illinois residents are more maniacal than residents of any other state and would likely resort to the use a gun if they felt their real estate transaction was going “bad.” It’s only the fact that people haven’t been able to legally carry guns to this point that’s prevented the radical thinning of the Realtor herd by sellers and purchasers gone house-crazy.
“Our offices, as a whole, we’d prefer people not come in with guns, especially if they’re having a bad transaction, if we’re showing them in our cars, and our sellers, our homeowners, would probably prefer people aren’t coming into their homes with weapons,” said John Matthews, managing broker of Baird & Warner, Oak Park.
If you’ll remember, Oak Park cut a relatively large check for legal fees to the NRA after losing the fight regarding their handgun ban so it’s not surprising that this issue has come up again. Just last week, a TTAG article referenced an Oak Park resident mom who was concerned that even the images of guns on the Illinois state-mandated no CCW signs were going to “traumatize” their children.
However, he added, “If someone was coming in to do bad deeds, they could care less if the concealed carry sign was there or not. if it’s a comfort level for agents and homeowners, I would say put the sign out.”
So even Matthews recognizes the futility of this and how the gun-free designation only impacts people who follow the law. But I’ll bet in his market, he’d be hesitant to push the point because it might make people less “comfortable”. Seeing that agents are often-times women and are frequently show properties or host open houses alone, it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t want the option to carry for their own protection.