Carmel City Council to consider ‘no-knock’ list for solicitors

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CARMEL, Ind. – The Carmel City Council is set to hear a proposal that would create a “no-knock” list, aimed at stopping unwanted door-to-door solicitations.

The ordinance, if passed, would allow Carmel residents to register their address on a list of those who do not wish to have solicitors come to their door. The list would be maintained and updated on the city’s website.

Any Carmel resident who doesn’t want vendors coming to their door could register for the list. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the list could be especially helpful for first responders and other workers who maintain different hours and may sleep during the day.

“We’ve had a ban on door-to-door solicitation in the past,” Brainard said. “And there was a Supreme Court case that said that violates free speech. So we’re changing our ordinance.”

The City of Carmel already requires door-to-door vendors selling commercial products to pass background checks and apply for a license to solicit. Under this new measure, any licensed solicitor would also have to carry a copy of the most recent “no-knock” list. Any solicitor who violates the list would face a fine and the possibility of having their license revoked.

“It applies to commercial products,” Brainard said. “It doesn’t apply to people running for office or religious solicitations. It depends on whether it’s a product.”

In essence, the “no-knock” list would work like Indiana’s “do not call” list, aimed at blocking unwanted solicitations. Residents in several Carmel neighborhoods expressed support for the idea Monday.

“I think that the option available is a great idea,” said Maria Vance. “Whether or not you participate or not, that’s up to you. But having the option is good.”

Renee Sondhe was busy with several young children when we visited her home. She likes the idea of a “no-knock” list for security reasons, and for busy mothers like her.

“I don’t want to be rude, but there’s a 99 percent chance I have absolutely no interest in what you have to say,” Sondhe said. “As terrible as that may be because it is your job.”

The proposal appears to have early support among council members as well. Every member of the council is signed on as a co-sponsor.

The ordinance was assigned to a committee Monday evening for further discussion over the next few weeks.

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