Charleston considers requiring permits for panhandlers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Charleston City Council is considering a measure that would require people asking for money to obtain a permit and would bar them from doing it at high traffic areas like large intersections.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the proposal introduced Monday would apply to organizations soliciting money as well as individuals panhandling. The permits would be free, but would have to be displayed and renewed annually.

Lead sponsor Councilwoman Becky Ceperley chairs a coalition of agencies, churches and other officials trying to address what has been called an “influx of criminal vagrants” in Charleston.

Violators of the proposed ordinance could face community service or jail.

Two public meetings are planned before the council votes.

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