Texas lawmaker proposes House bill that would open liquor stores on Sundays

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Photo Credit: Rena Li | Daily Texan Staff

Liquor stores could soon open their doors on Sundays thanks to legislation proposed by state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo.

Raymond introduced House Bill 1100 on Jan. 25. If passed, the bill would give liquor stores the option of selling spirits on Sundays and extending their legal hours of operation to 10 p.m. Raymond said the state, which allows several types of businesses to operate seven days a week, should not stop liquor stores from following suit.

“The state of Texas should not be picking winners and losers,” Raymond said in a press release. “If a package (liquor) store wants to open on Sunday, the government should not prevent them from doing so. The days a business opens should be a decision made by the owner, not the government.”

Texas “blue laws,” enacted in 1961, originally restricted the sale of liquor and 41 other items on Sundays. Since then, the laws have been adjusted to only include liquor stores and car dealerships.

Forty-two other states have already abolished the remaining blue laws, so allowing Sunday sales in Texas is overdue, Raymond said.

Citing Republican party platforms and the Texas Association of Business’ position on blue laws, Raymond said he expects the bill to pass.

“It’s a lot easier to kill a bill than to pass a bill,” Raymond said. “But I think we’ll get to vote on it, and I think at least 76 members would vote for it … but I can’t guarantee anything.”

John Meadows is the owner of Wiggy’s Wine and Spirits on North Lamar. Meadows said a rejection of the bill will be a missed opportunity for some liquor stores.

“One of the arguments against it is that whatever liquor you sell on Sundays would have been sold on the previous Saturday or the following Monday,” Meadows said. “That’s not necessarily true in our area.”

Meadows said in turn, his liquor store will be open on Sundays if the legislation passes.

“I’ve been up here painting the outside of the store the past few Sundays, and I had to turn three to five people away every time,” Meadows said.

Corporate communications junior Isael Longoria said the ability to buy liquor on Sundays would benefit students over 21.

“I wouldn’t have to worry about getting something on a Saturday if I wanted it on a Sunday,” Longoria said. “It just knocks out the worrying of buying liquor beforehand.”

 

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