Agent's Murder Sparks Call for Gun Training

October 6, 2014

Real estate professionals are on high alert following the murder of a 49-year-old Arkansas real estate agent that gripped national headlines last week. The tragedy prompted one association in Utah to organize a basic firearms course for its members.

Mark Shepherd, mayor of Clearfield, Utah, and president of the Northern Wasatch REALTORS® Association, have partnered to offer gun safety training for local real estate agents.  The mayor says they were inspired to take action in the wake of the murder of Beverly Carter, whose body was found Sept. 30, days after she had gone missing following a showing of a foreclosed home.

“This story has hit home with a lot of agents,” Shepherd told The Associated Press. He says many agents take self-defense training classes, but he thinks it’s time agents go beyond that and learn gun safety instruction too. He is working with officials from an indoor shooting range in the area to put together the real estate course.

Shepherd says it can be unnerving to walk into a home with squatters or into a dark basement of a home, accompanied by strangers. He also worries that copycat crimes may take place after the Arkansas murder. Agents can become a target of criminals too, because there is an assumption they are rich and drive nice cars. Aaron Lewis, the man charged in the murder of Carter, allegedly told police that he targeted Carter because “she was just a woman that worked alone—a rich broker.”

Source: “Real Estate Agent’s Murder Prompts Gun Training,” The Associated Press (Oct. 3, 2014)