25% of Male Agents Carry a Gun

Safety is a concern in the real estate industry and it’s not limited to female agents. Recent NAR survey data show that a quarter of men in the business carry a gun to protect themselves. The survey is based on a sample of the NAR membership. Almost 49,000 members were sent the survey and a little under 3,300 responded, for a response rate of 6.7 percent. That puts the margin of error at plus or minus 1.72 percent.

VRE 74 imageThe 25-percent figure of men carrying guns might not be even across the country. More men might carry guns in one area, skewing the national figure higher than it otherwise would be. But, either way, it’s an eye-catching figure. For women, the corresponding numbers is 12 percent. That puts total gun-carrying agents at 16-percent. Overall, pepper spray is the most common self-defense weapon agents use, at 19 percent.

Safety apps are popular. Almost half of all female agents have some type of safety app on their phone. Although the apps differ, one common type of app is simply a way for someone to alert someone else where they are by pushing a button.

Actual violence against agents remains relatively rare, although even one violent act against an agent is one too many. About 5 percent of agents say they’ve been a victim of a crime while on the job. That includes non-violent crimes like having data stolen. About 4 percent of agents self-identify as having been victim of a physical crime: 2 percent say it was robbery, 1 percent say it was assault, and 1 percent prefers not to say.

The fear of crime is quite high, understandably, given that the job often entails meeting people for the first time in different types of settings. More than 40 percent of women in suburban markets say they have felt afraid at one time or another. Sometimes it was at an open house, sometimes it was at a showing.

The data is from an NAR safety report that was released a few weeks ago. It’s a top story in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. The video also covers how REALTORS® responded to recent hurricane damage, what’s happening with flood insurance, and how commercial markets are faring (good in secondary markets and less good in bigger markets, where big properties are seeing prices flatten). Watch the video. 


Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is director of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at rfreedman@realtors.org.

More Posts

  1. Donna Stott

    I don’t believe this for one second. I have been in the business for 31 years and have never heard of an agent, male or female, that carries a gun. Not one.

  2. Dina Hunter

    Most agents who carry a gun will not make it publicly known…That is why it is called a concealed carry license/permit. If actual statistics are accurate that 1 in 20 U.S. adults have a concealed weapon permit, then some of those 1 in 20 people are real estate agents.

  3. Rochelle

    Can’t get a carry permit in most of California (I’m in L. A. county) even if we wanted one. Anyone here who carries is either doing so illegally or has “connections” in high places…

  4. Lisa Gates

    Thank you for the reminder to stay safe! I know quite a few agents, men and women, who are armed. Only when we had open conversations about safety did they tell the rest of the office their safety tips and that they wear certain clothes or carry certain handbags to ensure their safety.

  5. Brenda Macino

    I’m glad to hear more agents are taking their safety very seriously and taking their own self defense into their own hands. Donna I know many agents that conceal carry.

  6. Donna, I don’t know where you’ve been hiding but lots of Realtors carry guns!

  7. Well Donna, now you’ve met one now. I carry. We don’t always advertise we are carrying. If I feel I’m in danger I may reveal it. I’d rather loose a sale than be dead or raped. I was robbed at gun point in the 80’s. Not in Real Estate then. So yes now I am armed and I am dangerous.

  8. Robert Freedman

    Donna, thanks for your note. The finding is based on responses by 3,277 members of NAR out of 48,942 surveyed, for a 6.7 percent response rate, which researchers say has a 95-precent confidence level. Twenty-five percent of men and 12 percent of women said they carry a firearm, for an overall rate of 16 percent. You can expect responses to differ by area of the country, because concealed-carry and other laws differ by state, and that can affect outcomes. You can access the survey responses here: https://www.nar.realtor/reports/2017-member-safety-report

  9. In Florida I would say that % is spot on. Also I know quite a few agents/inspectors that carry taser guns.

  10. Rik

    I have a concealed carry permit, and carry a compact semi-auto pistol that has a low recoil, and I practice with it monthly. And a pepper spray canister, which I am not frankly very confident of due to range. I am going to replace it with grizzly bear spray. I practice situational awareness at all times, which is just one aspect of a first line of defense. If you plan to arm yourself, consider what you think you yourself are able to do to respond to typical risk situations. Get training on whatever self defense you are able to use. And yes I have been attacked twice. My co-worker was robbed and forced into the trunk of his car. Stuff happens. Be prepared – that means thinking about the worst case scenarios ahead of time and deciding what you can do to defend yourself. And, if you are willing to live with the results.

  11. Brian Burry

    Well I am a Realtor and retired police officer with legal concealed carry license/permit and have to agree that many Realtors carry a weapon. If you experienced the number of assault, robbery, car-jacking and violent calls for service as I have, then you would understand ANY day ANY time you can become a victim of such. To protect myself and others, I carry, consistently practice at the range and do so knowing the reason why I do.

  12. Lisa S

    I am a realtor in the Detroit market. I carry daily. I believe that this article and margin of error is correct. Not all agents or CPL holders are verbal about carrying a weapon for obvious reasons. I also think that in certain markets the stats are notably higher or lower. In Detroit, we expect to encounter danger at some point in some way. It’s best to be prepared no matter if you are a man or a woman. Many of the other Realtors I know who carry are grandmothers. I’m 5’1 and not the least bit threatening looking so I’m not taking any chances.

  13. If you have ever walked in to a vacant Home to find remnants of food & drink you must wonder who has been there. NOT THE OWNER but a SQUATTER or worse. It has happened several times to me and I have become very cautious. The Police have suggested to look in the Garages of these Homes to see if cars are present. Often stolen cars are hidden in garages of vacant Homes. What do you thinks these people would do if you couldn’t protect yourself. Thank God for my .380 Pistol.

  14. Gail E. Davis

    After 30 years, I carry. Looking back I feel I have been extremely fortunate. My head is now out of the sand, I have my permit and practice regularly. God forbid I find myself in a situation where I need my weapon, however, I am confident I am prepared.

  15. Can’t get a carry permit in most of California (I’m in L. A. county) even if we wanted one. Anyone here who carries is either doing so illegally or has “connections” in high places…

  16. I carry concealed every day (fortunately I live in Arizona) where permitted by law. I encourage all agents to go to their local gun range take a class. Some gun ranges offer free classes. It doesn’t matter if you are showing a home in a great neighborhood, violent assaults and even murders are perpetrated against agents in these places. I’ve written about this particular topic with some real agent stories and some safety tips for agents. If you’re interested, you can read it here:


  17. Carlos Herrera

    I am in Real Estate because I enjoy it a lot more than when I was an employee (30 years ago). The best thing I like is that I am able to pick an choose where and who I work with. Working in an area or with people I don’t like is like working for a lousy boss just to get a paycheck. I tell my agents: Don’t do this if you are desperate, because desperate people do desperate things.