DISCUS

Editorial: Last of the Blue Laws; PACKAGE STORES -- Open them on Sundays

February 21, 2009 07:00 PM

Move aside, Carry Nation, and let the General Assembly do what it should have done years ago: allow Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor.

Connecticut is one of only three states in the country that still ban the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday. The prohibition was imposed in 1933.

Many mom-and-pop package store owners — especially those with stores located away from the state's borders — enjoy taking Sunday off. They argue that they would have to open a seventh day to remain competitive. But many of those who own stores near Connecticut's borders with New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island favor repeal because they lose Sunday sales to outlets that are open in those three states.

The law shouldn't be written for a relatively few package store licensees. Nor should the spirit of the old temperance leader, Ms. Nation, rule the day. If liquor sales are permitted six days a week, why not seven? If alcohol is sold at bars and restaurants on Sunday, why not at liquor stores as well? The law should be written for the convenience of the consumer.

Republican lawmakers who propose the repeal of the Sunday ban insist that seven-days-a-week sales will raise extra sales- and alcohol-tax revenue, and that will help to reduce the budget deficit during hard times. But the best reason to repeal a particularly inconvenient "blue law" is that it removes a barrier that needn't exist. If you want to buy a six-pack on Sunday for an impromptu barbecue, why should the state and mom-and-pop store owners say no?

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CONTACT: Telephone: SCROLLER Publication Name: Hartford Courant Publication Author: Editorial
 

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