MORGAN -- Morgan city is using a new ordinance to get tougher on door-to-door solicitors.
"It is meant to protect people from people you don't know that don't have good intentions," City Attorney Gary Crane said.
The new ordinance allows soliciting as long as solicitors pass a background check, file an application with the city and pay $75 for a business license. Solicitors who have gone through the proper channels will wear a badge when going door to door.
If solicitors fail to fill out an application and secure a business license but still attempt to sell door to door, it is a class B misdemeanor. If they fail to leave the city upon request, they could be arrested.
"It's good legislation. It's not a tough process if you've complied with the same requirements in other cities," Crane said. "Some organizations solicit as their main way of selling their wares. They agree with (the ordinance's language)."
City officials can deny a soliciting license if the solicitor has a criminal background or continually causes problems within city limits. The denial, however, can be appealed to the city council.
Crane said once a resident expresses non-interest in the product or service being sold at his door, the solicitor could be considered a trespasser if he doesn't promptly leave. The ordinance also prohibits solicitors from using obscene language or gestures.
The new ordinance doesn't apply to nonprofit fundraising efforts such as those used by community groups and Boy Scouts, Councilwoman Shelly Betz said. The ordinance applies only to organizations that are required to submit sales tax to the state.