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Implementing Office Safety Measures: Legal Considerations Jessica Edgerton, NAR Associate Counsel.

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Presentation on theme: "Implementing Office Safety Measures: Legal Considerations Jessica Edgerton, NAR Associate Counsel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementing Office Safety Measures: Legal Considerations Jessica Edgerton, NAR Associate Counsel

2 Handheld Weapons

3 Know Your State Laws: Firearms Laws regulating firearms licensing, transport, and concealed carry vary widely depending on what state you are in. Every state now permits concealed carry, meaning that people with proper licenses can carry concealed firearms in public. Be aware that some states require a permit for concealed carry – others do not. State laws regarding the transport of a weapon in a vehicle also vary. Depending on the kind of license held, some states may require a gun owner to place a weapon in a location in the car where it’s visible from outside the vehicle, or to unload a gun prior to transporting it in a vehicle. Interstate travel with a weapon also carries a number of restrictions.

4 Know Your State Laws: Self-defense Sprays States may regulate self-defense sprays such as mace and pepper spray. A few examples: In Florida, carrying more than two ounces of pepper spray in a dispenser requires a concealed carry permit. Massachusetts residents may only purchase defense sprays from licensed firearms dealers in that state. New York requires that anyone buying a self-defense spray fill out a registration form.

5 I NSTITUTING E FFECTIVE O FFICE S AFETY P OLICIES

6 Considerations when Implementing Weapons-Related Policies or Programs You, your agents, and your employees should become familiar with all applicable weapons-related laws and regulations. Do not require that your employees or agents carry weapons. Offices wishing to keep firearms out of office facilities should become familiar with state and local laws on this subject. Posting a “weapons-free” notice may be a good first step. State laws vary regarding the prohibition of weapons storage in private, locked vehicles parked in office parking lots. Do your research. If you will be implementing weapons-related policies, offering weapons education or training, or even discussing the use of weapons with your staff and agents, consider implementing an office weapons policy. Such a policy should be drafted by, or in close consultation with, local counsel. Keep in mind the following considerations when drafting such a policy: –The storage of weapons in or around office premises; –State laws regarding concealed carry restrictions; –Transportation of weapons in vehicles; and –Licensing and registration requirements that may apply to you, your office, and your employees or agents.

7 S AFETY T RAINING P ROGRAMS

8 Considerations when Offering Safety Training or Education Programs Ensure that any programs offered will fully accommodate individuals with disabilities or special needs. Never forget that men as well as women are vulnerable in the field. Training programs should be offered to everyone, regardless of gender. Whenever hiring an outside safety expert, make sure beforehand that the expert is properly qualified and properly insured. Prior to hiring a safety expert, make sure to have your attorney review the engagement contract. Consider obtaining waivers from participants in any safety training that will involve physical activities or weapons training. Work with local counsel on all of the above.

9 I DENTIFICATION R EQUESTS

10 Considerations when Implementing an Identification Check Procedure Keep clients’ sensitive, personal information in a secure, locked place in the office or, if in electronic form, in a secure, password-protected database. After a reasonable time period, it is a good practice to properly dispose of sensitive client information. Guidance on document retention and data security can be found at the following links: –http://www.realtor.org/articles/five-steps-towards-achieving-data-securityhttp://www.realtor.org/articles/five-steps-towards-achieving-data-security –http://www.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/nars-data-security-and-privacy-toolkithttp://www.realtor.org/law-and-ethics/nars-data-security-and-privacy-toolkit –http://www.realtor.org/publications/realtor-ae-magazine/document-retention-what-not-to-trashhttp://www.realtor.org/publications/realtor-ae-magazine/document-retention-what-not-to-trash Apply the ID request policy uniformly. Do not request some clients’ IDs and not others.

11 “Panic Button” Procedures Make sure that any emergency notification policies, tools, or procedures you offer provide adequate modifications for anyone with special needs, including the hearing impaired or agents with any physical restrictions.

12 Safety Resources Offered by the National Association of REALTORS® Safety Presentations: Safety Presentation Handouts: brochures/2012/REALTOR-Safety-Handouts-2012.pdfhttp://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/handouts-and- brochures/2012/REALTOR-Safety-Handouts-2012.pdf Safety Quiz: presentation-2011-quiz-question-answers.pdfhttp://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/presentations/2011/realtor-safety- presentation-2011-quiz-question-answers.pdf Real Estate Guide to Safety: 347?opendocumenthttp://www.realtor.org/prodser.nsf/products/ ?opendocument Safety Webinars: Safety Tips Card: Safety Tools*: Safety Related Articles: Other Safety Resources: *Products listed are not endorsed, vetted, or otherwise recommended by the National Association of REALTORS®.

13 All of the slides from today’s presentation are available via the link below and on the Law & Policy page of


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