MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota lawmakers are taking aim at a nearly century-old law that’s been very difficult to take off the books. Liquor stores cannot legally open on Sundays.

If it’s hard to understand why, you are not alone. It’s an 82 year old law some lawmakers are trying to repeal.

“It’s just a matter of time before this change occurs,” Rep. Jennifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie) said. “It’s not if.  It’s when.”

The Sunday closings are not new. When Prohibition hit in 1919, alcohol was illegal everywhere in Minnesota.

Sunday liquor stores were banned in 1933, after Prohibition was repealed, but Sunday sales were frowned on long before that.

The first 1858 state laws forbid alcohol sales on “the Sabbath.” Those early Minnesota laws banned Sunday activities for religious reasons.

But today, many Minnesotans are not Christian, or religious at all — 56.3 percent say they are part of an organized religion, or 2,986,450 Minnesota residents. But 44 percent say they are not: 2,317,475 total.

Minnesota’s not the only “Never On Sunday” state: 12 states forbid liquor stores to open Sundays, 15 states restrict Sunday car sales, 11 states ban Sunday hunting.

The Minnesota liquor industry opposes opening stores on Sunday. It says store owners would have a seventh day of expenses, with no significant extra sales.

Here Are Some Of The Sources We Used For This Reality Check:

Minnesota 1858 Law Banning Sunday Alcohol Sales
Minnesota Liquor Control Act 1934
Sunday One of Busiest Shopping Days
Number of Religious Adherents in Minnesota
What Is A Blue Law? (Source 1, Source 2)
Minnesota Liquor Control Act 1934
Sunday Hunting
Sunday Liquor Sales
Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement
Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association

Pat Kessler

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