Like fanatical Japanese soldiers hidden on jungle islands decades past V-J Day, Sunday blue laws remain entrenched in statehouses across the country and must be uprooted by force. The Texas statehouse is one battlefront in this campaign, but unfortunately too many of the would-be forces of Liberty there are fighting with popguns.
Texas bars and restaurants can sell mixed drinks on Sundays. Grocery stores can sell beer and wine, but only after noon. Liquor stores are forced to lock their doors. As noted here at TBH, the Texas legislature has taken up the issue this session, but the bills presented to date have been laughably trivial. One, Senate Bill 604, would grant package store shoppers a “grace period” — perhaps as long as 30 whole minutes! — to wrap up their transactions after closing time. The second, House Bill 1634, would allow liquor stores to open at 9 a.m. on Saturdays instead of 10 a.m.
Honestly, who cares if either passes. Just open the damn liquor stores already.
Apparently some Texans anticipated this feeble showing from their legislators. Back in January, and cleverly leading up to a Dallas Cowboys playoff game, a mysteriously-sourced Twitter account called “Boot the Ban” suddenly appeared. It immediately attracted a huge following as well as sparking a guessing-game as to who was behind the account (the source turned out to be the Texas Hospitality Association). Shortly thereafter, Boot the Ban spokesman Todd Kercheval made the case (as if one were needed) for ending the insanity of Texas blue laws:
“Our campaign is simply about making the consumers aware that opportunities don’t exist in every aspect, there’s still one remaining blue law left in the state of Texas and that is the fact that a package store cannot be open on Sundays to sell liquor,” THA legislative consultant Todd Kercheval explained. “The most effective way to get things done in the legislative process is simply through the people.”
“The Blue Laws are so far out of our span now. We don’t live in this total Baptist community,” Lubbock resident Robert Maynes added. “We’re an adult state. We make a lot of money off oil and agriculture and people want to drink.”
THA believes that with the growth of public awareness, state legislators will take notice and push to lift the so-called ‘outdated, antiquated’ ban. Texas is one of only 12 states remaining with this Sunday ban.
“You’ve got people from all over the United States moving to Texas because the economy is so great and it’s a wonderful place to live. We believe there’s a lot of educating to do because they’re coming from places where maybe this isn’t something they’ve ever dealt with in the past,” Kercheval said.
“It has been proven that an extra day of sales increases sales across the board,” Kercheval said.
That about says it all. Sign the petition to Boot the Ban here.