With warmer weather, more solicitors will be out knocking on doors. Salesmen within Gardner’s city limits are required to have a “Solicitor Permit” from the Gardner Police Department and most have it with them when attempting to do sales.
“We provide, on average, 10 solicitation permits to businesses each summer,” said Steve Benz, Gardner Police Department. “Those businesses may employ 10 – 15 employees each in some cases.
The cost for a permit is $25 per company; regardless of how many employees each company has working within the city.
“Not only is it the law that solicitors in Gardner have a permit, it reflects that those holding permits have had background checks conducted on them by the Gardner Police Department,” Benz continued. “Those with criminal backgrounds are not normally provided with solicitation permits.”
There is a fine of up to $100 per day, per employee, for those soliciting in Gardner without a permit, and repeated violations can also lead to jail time of up to 30 days.
“We encourage all residents to interact with solicitors as they feel comfortable,” Benz said. They should always insist on seeing photo ID of the sales person, as well as their soliciting permit.
“ The Gardner Police Department requires each person issued a permit to present photo ID to us at the time of application, so they all have photo ID available to them,” Benz continued.  And even with a permit and photo ID, there is no law compelling a resident to interact with a salesperson, and no requirement to allow them into a home.  That is strictly the decision of the resident.