AUSTIN, Texas - A liquor store run on a Sunday? It could soon be an option in Texas if one state lawmaker gets his way.
- Liquor stores cannot operate on Sundays in Texas
- State lawmaker looking to change that
- There could be resistance among store owners and customers
There used to be a bunch of items you couldn't buy on Sundays under state "blue laws." While most of those have since been repealed, the ban on liquor sales has lingered. But, not all liquor stores are toasting to the idea.
Keeping the shelves stocked and the customers coming back is Eric Pelegrin's job at Beverage World in Austin, so you'd think he'd be all for another day of business. But Pelegrin says he thinks liquor store laws in Texas are fine the way they are.
"Opening on Sunday means we don't get our Sunday. There's only three of us here that really work the floor," Pelegrin said.
He says it's also a money issue.
"My wife did a calculation and it would cost about $40,000, and that's not even mentioning keeping the lights on and all that stuff, just in employee hours," said Pelegrin.
Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, is pushing the piece of legislation that would allow for liquor stores to open at noon on Sundays. He says most businesses are on board, telling us: “Allowing Sunday sales in Texas is long overdue. I’ve heard from many constituents – including small business owners – who have asked me to file this bill to let the free market be free."
And consumers tend to side with the representative on this one.
"Think it's about time. I'm from the north, and up there they've been doing it for a long time. I didn't really understand it when I got here, but I think it would make things a lot easier," said shopper Kevin Ryan.
Perusing a liquor store shelf on a Sunday hasn't been an option in Texas. A change in the law would be another step toward repealing any remaining remnants of the state's so-called "blue laws," which banned buying a handful of items on Sundays.
Ryan says he wants to be able to buy what he wants when he wants.
"To be able to get out there to pick up something to enjoy yourself, without rushing on a Saturday would be nice," said Ryan.
It's a change that could pit some liquor stores against their customers. Selling spirits on Sundays is allowed in 42 states.
If the Texas bill passes, liquor stores would be able to open their doors on Sundays at noon starting in September.