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Knock, knock. Who's there? No salesmen, town proposes

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. -- The door-to-door salesman could soon be a thing of the past, at least in this New Jersey town.

The ''No-Knock Registry," being considered by Franklin Lakes, would allow residents to bar solicitors from their homes. Addresses would be put on a list that would be given to salespeople who apply for canvassing permits. If solicitors approach those homes they could face a fine of up to $1,250 and a one-year loss of their permit.

The Franklin Lakes council is expected to vote on the registry, modeled after the National Do Not Call List, at its Dec. 14 meeting.

''They're very high-pressured and they're very aggressive," Mayor Thomas Donch said of some salespeople. ''This ordinance is probably overdue."

One resident said she was badgered by a pushy salesgirl three weeks ago, the day she moved from Wyckoff to the more affluent Walder Farms.

''She was here for, I'd say, probably a half-hour to 45 minutes while I was trying to get rid of her," said the woman, who identified herself only as Cindy.

She couldn't shake the salesgirl selling cleaning fluid. ''I just didn't want to buy it," Cindy said.

A No-Knock list ''would be a good thing," she said.

Roja Singh, a five-year resident, said that her doorbell hasn't been rung by salespeople, but that she likes the idea of the list.

''You're tired of being treated as the consumer all the time," she said. ''Inside the house . . . that's the space you really want to keep separate from being marketed."

Singh also said that with teenage and preschool-age sons, she was worried about who might be knocking at the door.

Under the proposed ordinance, salespeople would be fingerprinted and photographed.

Their names would also be run through a national database, in an effort to see if they have a criminal record.

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