Berkeley Council to consider restricting door-to-door sales

Ken Gunn

Door-to-door salesmen may be required to get licenses if a proposed ordinance passes in Berkeley County. Council’s Justice and Public Safety Committee is set to discuss an ordinance “relating to the business and licensure of hawkers and peddlers” on Monday.

“One of the most common complaints that I receive are complaints about unwanted solicitors going through the communities,” said Councilman Ken Gunn, chair of the committee.

The law would require an annual $25 license and background check for anyone who sells “goods, wares, merchandise or services” from house to house. It exempts politicians and people who are affiliated with charitable organizations, such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and church and school organizations, Gunn said.

In September, a Cane Bay woman and her 5-year-old son were assaulted by a door-to-door salesman after she refused to buy a vacuum, according to reports at the time.

“You just can’t trust people anymore when they knock on your door,” said Councilman Tommy Newell, who worked on the ordinance with Gunn. “Some of these people become very aggressive. They stick their foot in the door, not letting you shut the door on them.”

The ordinance will go before County Council on July 27 and Aug. 24, with a public hearing and final reading on Sept. 28.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.