North Carolina legislators are considering allowing ABC stores to sell alcohol on Sunday. If it passes, Senate Bill 277 would repeal a blue law that has been on the books for more than seven decades.
Such laws typically serve two often competing goals: discouraging certain purchases and raising tax revenues.
Loosening restrictions on when liquor can be purchased makes sense. The current law that prohibits ABC stores from opening on Sunday seems to exist for no other reason than tradition.
Some Christian groups are opposing the law because they say it will lead to an increase in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems, but it is unlikely that changing the law will have a dramatic impact.
Loosening restrictions is a good step, but the fact that the General Assembly is able to make decisions like this one is a sign of larger problems with North Carolina’s ABC system.