By Pat Kessler

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A Prohibition-era ban on Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota may soon be coming to an end.

The Minnesota Senate joined the House Monday, voting to repeal the ban.

Minnesota’s one of only 12 states that don’t allow liquor stores to open on Sunday, and lawmakers say consumers expect to buy on Sunday whatever they want.

“We’ve been hearing loud and clear from our constituents that it’s time to get this done!” said Sen. Jeremy Miller, (R) Winona, who authored the repeal.

The Legislature is repealing the Sunday liquor store ban which was enacted in 1935, around the same time Prohibition ended.

Supporters said it removes government from telling businesses what to do.

“And I think on the moral question, our society has already answered that question,” said Sen. Matt Little, (DFL) Lakeville, “which is: drinking on Sunday is OK.”

But critics predict Sunday sales mean “big box” liquor stores will move to rural areas, crushing mom and pop stores and what’s left of their shattered economy.

“And in its place on our little Main Street are a whole bunch of empty lots and a bunch of empty storefronts,” said Sen. Tom Bakk, the DFL minority leader. “All across Minnesota, the big boxes and the regional centers are changing our little rural communities, and they will never be the same again.”

Some lawmakers oppose Sunday sales because they said the day should be set aside for Christian services.

And several questioned why anyone would need to buy a bottle that badly.

“If they really really, really, really do need alcohol, well then they can go down to the bar and have a drink, or maybe they should go see a doctor,” said Sen. David Tomassoni, (DFL) Chisolm.

If it gets final approval, the bill goes into effect July 1 and allows liquor stores to open Sundays until 6 p.m.

Comments (9)
  1. A stupid law, if you can’t buy enough liquor on Sat, you don’t need it

    1. No. The government should not be in control of when a business can be open. The grocery store is open 7 days a week, why can’t a liquor store be open as well? The only reason liquor store owners say they don’t want Sunday sales is because they get a government mandated day off with there competition being closed as well. I wish shopping was illegal on Sunday’s so I didn’t have to work. Also, this doesn’t mean a store has to be open. I’m guessing the store in my little town will remain closed on Sunday’s. If only one store in the entire state wants to be open on Sunday then they should have that option.

  2. Jack Hackney says:

    Perfect. You need to feed the appetites of the drunk always or they go into withdrawal.
    Seriously – if people are soooooooo dumb that they cannot plan ahead or keep a bottle of case or such on hand it’s a lost cause anyway. They have an issue at that point. Maybe alcohol. Maybe brain related.
    Next up ” I want my pot and dope in a vending machine” …. it will happen sooner than you think.

    Meanwhile more people get killed on the roads by that sweet drunk driver or families destroyed or jobs lost …. but it is all GOOD. That is what you are assisting — more drunks.
    Well done you political hacks

    1. It would seem people who are intoxicated are more often driving from a bar than liquor store, and if the LQ is closed, they’re headed to the bar, right? And not everyone who might want to buy some beer on a Sunday is an alcoholic. Perhaps an impromptu family gathering on a Sunday in July warrants a few beers with those hamburgers?

      1. Jeff Mannino says:

        You are being logical and concise that has no place here.

    2. Jeff Mannino says:

      Settle down id like to see that happen before anyone gets all bent outta shape with assumptions and feelings.

  3. Asobitai Ima says:

    Thirty years ago In Japan we could buy sake and Budweiser out of the vending machines.

    Those Japanese people are such drunks.

    (In case you can’t tell, I’m being facetious here…)

  4. Jeff Mannino says:

    big box stores will move to rural areas regardless if big box stores see a financial opportunity in that area. The repeal of this law doesn’t make that any more likely.

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