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Lawmaker Wants Liquor Stores Open on Sundays
By: Robert PriceLiquor stores are bracing for possible big changes to how they do business.It's a law that dates back to Prohibition, but if one lawmaker gets her way, the state's ban on Sunday liquor sales could soon be history.Here at Gabriel's Superstore, Susan Marbach is loading up for a weekend party. She says there's no good reason that all liquor stores in Texas are still closed on Sundays.I think it's outdated, absolutely, said Marbach. Get with the times.State Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston agrees. She says in a modern economy, Blue laws and hour restrictions on sales no longer make sense. And that's why she's filed a bill to not only allow liquor sales on Sundays, but extend weekday sales by two hours as well. That means hours would expand from 9:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night.Prashant Samtani has run Liquors Etc. for more than a decade.I'm a little bit on pins and needles because it would really be a big change for us going to Sunday sales.Samtani is one of several liquor store owners who are against Sunday sales.It's just overall not a good deal, Samtani says.Johnny Gabriel of Gabriel's Liquor is just as blunt.It's really absurd that they push it and they keep pushing it, Gabriel says. Beer's available on Sunday. Wine is available on Sunday. And if you want a mixed drink, it's available at any restaurant, any club, any hotel.He says more hours of selling liquor just aren't needed in Texas.We're open 66 hours a week. And we think that is more than sufficient, says Gabriel.A lot of the small stores are family-run, so that takes away from family time, worship time, adds Samtani.We just believe that the families come first, says Gabriel.Representative Thompson says more liquor sales would mean more tax revenue for the state -- as much as thirteen million dollars. But owners dispute those numbers.It's just going to spread the sales out, says Samtani. It's not going to increase revenue for anybody. It's going to increase expenses for us. Operating expenses are going to go up.Over the past decade, more than a dozen states have lifted their bans on Sunday liquor sales, including neighbor states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and New Mexico. If this bill passes, sales would still be prohibited on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.Follow Robert on Twitter: @RobertPriceKABB
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