A Bill Is Ginning Up Support For Sunday Liquor Sales In Texas

Jan 30, 2019

bill filed late last week in the Texas Legislature could allow liquor stores to sell on Sundays. 

Currently, stores are prohibited from selling then – as well as on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. House Bill 1100 from state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond would allow stores to sell from noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.

The law has been on the books since 1961 – but the Laredo Democrat says he feels there's bipartisan support to kill it this session. A possible repeal was listed on the Texas GOP's party platform last summer.

"My guess is that a majority of the members in the House – and a majority of the members in the Senate – if it got put to them, I think, would be in favor of allowing those business owners to make the decision whether or not they want to open up on Sunday, as opposed to government telling them that they have no choice," Raymond said. 

Another reason he believes the bill has a shot this year: Liquor-minded legislation will already be top-of-mind for lawmakers. The state's alcohol regulator, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), is up for review under Texas' sunset provision, which requires lawmakers to evaluate the efficiency of state offices every decade.

Currently, TABC has permitted more than 2,600 "package stores" selling liquor across the state.

The restriction is a vestige of so-called Blue Laws, which prohibited stores from selling specific items on weekends for decades until a repeal in 1985. Liquor and cars weren't folded into that repeal, so it's still illegal to sell liquor on Sundays; car dealers must choose one day a weekend to operate.