Real estate agents hit gun range

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Women were headed to the gun range Wednesday, all in the name of safety for their job. They're not in law enforcement, though; they're selling houses.

Valley real estate agents are often put in vulnerable positions showing houses by themselves or in trouble neighborhoods. Now, they're learning to fight back, some by packing heat, especially on the heels of recent news events where women have been targeted.

This particular group of Keller Williams agents consists mostly of women, and they say when it comes to their safety, they're not taking any chances.

It's not often you'll find a group of professional women gathered at a gun range in the middle of a weekday afternoon. For these ladies, it's about being proactive on the job.

"It was an absolutely unbelievable experience," said Tara Walcott, a Keller Williams S4 team agent.

It's Walcott's birthday, a day she decided to spend with her team of agents out at the C2 Tactical Gun Range in Tempe. The agents are polishing up on their firearm use, concerned for their safety after several attacks on female real estate agents.

Back in September, real estate agent Beverly Carter was murdered in Arkansas. The man accused of killing her said she was an easy target because she was a woman who worked alone.

"The story really hit home with us and our team," said agent Jenny McCall as she walked us through a million-dollar Silver Leaf property in North Scottsdale. "This particular house is vacant which would be something that somebody that wanted to hurt somebody would definitely look for."

The more expensive, vacant homes in particular can attract criminals, agents say, which is why they always try and double up. Unfortunately, that's not always possible depending on the circumstance, so the team is taking action to make sure everyone is safe.

"Because we deal with such a wide variety of real estate from the high-end stuff like this all the way down to the very lowest of low and we deal with all types like that, we don't know what we're walking into," said Keller Williams S4 Team leader Kevin Craig.

C2 Tactical also offers a monthly personal safety course for realtors. For more information, visit www.c2tactical.com/realtor-personal-safety-class.