Door-to-door sales representatives would have a little more time to knock on doors under a bill narrowly approved by the Baltimore County Council on Thursday that would change the county's "hucksters and peddlers" law.
The key change allows sales representatives to stay out in neighborhoods until 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever is earlier.
The previous law set the cutoff time for selling at 5 p.m. or sunset, whichever was earlier.
The bill also exempts children who are doing fundraising from a requirement that they have to get a license to go door-to-door. Professionals still must obtain the license.
Councilman Julian Jones, a Woodstock Democrat, said he sponsored the bill to promote capitalism. The law governing door-to-door sales representatives was created in 1937.
"In America, people have the right to sell things," he said.
Jones noted that people who don't like door-to-door sales representatives can post "no solicitation" signs on their homes or in their neighborhoods.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has not yet reviewed the bill, said his spokesman, Don Mohler.
The bill was approved by the council on a 4-3 vote. Joining Jones in voting in favor of the bill were Councilman Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat; Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins, a Middle River Democrat; and Councilman Todd Crandell, a Dundalk Republican.
Members voting against the bill were Councilwoman Vicki Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat; Councilman Wade Kach, a Cockeysville Republican; and Councilman David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican.
The bill was supported by business interests, including Verizon, which did not respond to requests for comment.
The bill also drew the attention of the Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty, a group that promotes Libertarian ideals. The Campaign for Liberty railed against the bill in blog posts and on Facebook, saying that all door-to-door selling should be unrestricted. The group also claimed that Jones and Marks were "anti-First Amendment."
Reached through Facebook, the Campaign for Liberty refused to discuss its position, saying it is against the group's policy to "participate in any interviews or collaborate with the press."