[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Westminster as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted ATM 5-3-1997 by Art. 39]
Editor's Note: This article also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 141, Peddling and Soliciting, adopted STM 10-25-1993 by Art. 16.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
- BONA FIDE RELIGIOUS, CHARITABLE, EDUCATIONAL OR POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
- Any organization that is qualified under state or federal law as a tax exempt, nonprofit organization or any organization or group that espouses or advocates a position or belief on any subject of public interest or on behalf of any candidate for public office.
- To call upon persons to elicit or determine opinions, feelings, sentiments or information of any nature.
No person, firm or corporation shall canvass, solicit, distribute circulars or other matter or call from house to house in the Town of Westminster to sell, promote the sale of or attempt to sell goods by sample or to take or attempt to take orders for the future delivery of goods, merchandise, wares or any property, personal or real, of any nature whatsoever, or take or attempt to take orders for services to be furnished or performed presently or in the future or collect or attempt to collect contributions for any purpose without first having obtained a written permit from the Chief of Police of the Town of Westminster.
Any person, firm or corporation soliciting or canvassing on behalf of a bona fide religious, charitable or political organization shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter, except for the hours of solicitation and the requirements hereinafter provided in § 141-13, below.
Any person, firm or corporation delivering goods or performing services which have previously been ordered by the person owning, leasing or occupying the property where such delivery is made or service performed shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
Any person, firm or corporation calling upon or soliciting from commercial establishments located in the Town of Westminster shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
Any minor employed by a newspaper as a carrier, or who has been previously registered with the Chief of Police by employing newspaper, shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
The application form shall require the following information:
The name of the applicant.
The address of the applicant (local and permanent address).
The applicant's date of birth.
The applicant's height, weight, eye and hair color.
The applicant's social security number.
The length of time for which the right to do business is desired.
A brief description of the nature of the business and the goods to be sold.
The name and home office address of the applicant's employer; if self-employed, it shall so state.
If operating a motor vehicle, the year, make, color, model, registration number, registered state, vehicle owner and address.
Whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime or offense or violation of any bylaw relating to canvassing or soliciting and, if so, when, where and the nature of the offense.
The names of other municipalities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where the applicant has been issued a permit to solicit in the past two years.
All applicants under this section shall be fingerprinted and photographed by the Westminster Chief of Police.
Any applicant who fails to fully comply with the requisites established for issuance of a permit shall be denied a permit.
Any falsification of information required to be provided in the application process shall result in denial or immediate revocation of the applicant's permit.
Any failure to comply with the other provisions of this chapter shall result in immediate revocation of the permittee's permit.
Any failure of a permittee to prominently display his permit upon his person when soliciting shall result in immediate revocation of the permit.
It shall be unlawful for any person to peddle or solicit before the hour of 8:30 a.m. of any day or after the hour of 8:30 p.m. of any day, except by appointment.
The Chief of Police shall issue all permits within 48 hours of the time when an applicant has completed the requisites set forth in the applications section. In computing the forty-eight-hour period, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays shall be excluded.
Each applicant for a permit shall pay a fee of $10. The permit shall expire as set forth on each permit but in no case shall it exceed one year from the date of its issue, unless earlier revoked.
No permit shall be transferable. In the case of a firm or corporation, each person representing such firm or corporation shall be issued a separate permit.
No person, firm or organization having received a permit to canvass or solicit within the Town of Westminster shall use or exploit the fact of the permit so as to lead the public to believe that such permit in any manner constitutes an endorsement or approval by the town or any of its officials.
The Chief of Police of the Town of Westminster shall have the power and authority to grant, deny or revoke permits, as provided for and in accordance with the terms of this chapter.
Any person, firm or corporation charged with violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable for a fine not exceeding $300 for each violation. Each day on which a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation.
Any person, firm or corporation soliciting or canvassing on behalf of a bona fide religious, charitable, educational or political organization, as defined in this chapter, shall, prior to such solicitation or canvassing, file with the Chief of Police a completed application in the form provided.
The application shall contain the following information:
The name and address of the firm, corporation or organization represented by the individual solicitor, when applicable.
The name, address and telephone number of the person in charge of such organization to be contacted in case of emergency.
The name, address (both temporary and permanent), telephone number, social security number and date of birth of all individual solicitors who will be soliciting or canvassing within the Town of Westminster.
Whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime or offense or violation of any bylaw relating to canvassing or soliciting and, if so, when, where and the nature of the offense; names of other municipalities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where the applicant has been issued a permit to solicit in the past two years.
Whether any motor vehicles will be used in connection with the canvassing or soliciting and, if so, the make, year, color, type and license plate number.
Nature of any goods or services to be sold for the purpose of the solicitations or canvassing.
Such application shall be filed with the Chief of Police at least seven days prior to the time when such soliciting or canvassing shall take place.
Each solicitor or canvasser shall be issued a permit by the Chief of Police. The permit shall be available to be picked up from the Chief of Police of the Town of Westminster. Each permittee shall prominently display the permit upon his person whenever such permittee is engaged in canvassing or soliciting. No permit shall be transferable.
Failure to comply with the requisites established for issuance of a permit, falsification of any information required to be provided, failure to properly display the permit issued or soliciting or canvassing during the prohibited hours shall result in denial or immediate revocation of the applicant's permit.
The Chief of Police is hereby vested with jurisdiction over the revocation or suspension of licenses which he may exercise for cause. Any person whose license has been revoked shall have the right of appeal to the Board of Selectmen.
Any candidate for public office or person campaigning on behalf of such a candidate, where such candidate is seeking election to an office to be voted upon by the residents of the Town of Westminster who are duly registered to vote in elections in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
[Adopted ATM 6-20-2020 by Art. 35]
This bylaw authorizes the Police Department to conduct state and national fingerprint-based criminal history checks for individuals applying for specific licenses in the Town to enhance public safety, as authorized by MGL c. 6, § 172B 1/2. To carry out the criminal history checks authorized by this bylaw, the Police Department shall be authorized to use state and Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") records; provided, however, that such records shall not be disseminated to unauthorized entities and shall be maintained and disclosed in accordance with all applicable law.
The bylaw further authorizes the Board of Selectmen, in consultation with the Chief of Police, to promulgate regulations to implement this bylaw, which may include, but shall not be limited to, establishment of submission deadlines, procedures for making recommendations to the licensing authority or making a licensing as a result of the criminal history check, procedures for assessing, correcting or amending any such record, criteria for fitness determinations, security of information obtained and penalties for failure to comply with this bylaw.
The Police Department shall, as authorized by MGL c. 6, § 172B 1/2, conduct state and federal fingerprint-based criminal history checks for individuals and entities for the following licenses:
Hawking and peddling or other door-to-door salespeople.
At the time of fingerprinting, the Police Department shall notify the individual being fingerprinted that the fingerprints will be used to check the individual's criminal history records and obtain the individual's consent. After the applicant completes a consent form, provides his/her fingerprints and the appropriate fee, the Police Department shall transmit the fingerprints it has obtained pursuant to this bylaw to the identification section of the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services ("DCJIS"), and/or the FBI or the successors of such agencies as may be necessary for the purpose of conducting fingerprint-based state and national criminal records background checks for the license applicants specified in this bylaw.
The Town authorizes the Massachusetts State Police, the DCIS and the FBI and their successors, as may be applicable, to conduct fingerprint-based state and national criminal record background checks, including of FBI records, consistent with this bylaw. The Town authorizes the Police Department to receive and utilize state and FBI records in connection with such background checks, consistent with this bylaw and its implementing regulations. In accordance with its implementing regulations, the Police Department shall communicate the results of fingerprint-based criminal record background checks to the appropriate governmental licensing authority within the Town.
Licensing authorities of the Town shall utilize the results of fingerprint-based criminal record background checks for the sole purpose of determining the suitability of the subjects of the checks in connection with the license applications specified in this bylaw. A Town licensing authority may deny an application for a license on the basis of the results of a fingerprint-based criminal record background check if it determines that the results of the check render the subject unsuitable for the proposed licensed activity. The licensing authority shall consider all applicable laws, regulations and Town policies bearing on an applicant's suitability in making this determination.
Licensing authorities of the Town are hereby authorized to deny an application for any license specified herein and in the implementing regulations, including renewals and transfers of said licenses, from any person who is determined unfit for the license due to information obtained pursuant to this bylaw. Factors that shall be considered in making a determination of fitness shall include, but not be limited to, whether the record subject has been convicted of, or is under pending indictment for, a crime that bears upon the subject's ability or fitness to serve in that capacity, including any felony or a misdemeanor that involved force or threat of force, possession of a controlled substance, or sex-related offense.
The fee charged by the Police Department for the purpose of conducting fingerprint-based criminal record background checks shall be $100 for each fingerprinting and criminal history check. A portion of the fee, as specified in MGL c. 6, § 172B 1/2, shall be deposited into the Firearms Fingerprint Identity Verification Trust Fund, and the remainder of the fee may be retained by the Town for costs associated with the administration of the fingerprinting system.
This bylaw shall take effect after compliance with MGL c. 40, § 32, has been met.