Sunday sales law rightly in question

It is time for this outdated law to go, and growlers are a start.

Minnesota lawmakers have once again proposed reforms to the state’s liquor laws, though there has been no mention of a complete repeal of the ban on Sunday sales, the Star Tribune reported last week. The House Commerce Committee has heard ideas ranging from selling growlers — 64-ounce containers of beer — on Sundays to refillable beer containers in general. 

Issues with the state’s liquor laws have circulated at the Capitol for years, with proposed changes gaining support from a wide-ranging audience. Proponents point to the fact that since people can buy liquor from a bar or restaurant after 10 A.M. in Minnesota, shouldn’t they be able to buy from a store?

Opponents to any sort of reform or repeal — consisting mainly of either unions or wholesalers — contend that such a change would conflict with existing labor contracts. There has also been a mixed reaction from small business owners, some of whom feel that they should have the freedom to sell whenever they can. Others feel that competition introduced on Sundays would be unfair, as they don’t have the same labor force as larger companies.

We feel that the current law is outdated and it’s time to consider repealing the law banning Sunday sales altogether. However, the legislation should be written with potential harms to small businesses in mind. It’s only a matter of time until this issue gains enough momentum to pass, and we urge businesses to prepare for it.