Editorial calls for end to Sunday liquor sales ban

For those who want to be able to buy booze on Sundays in Minnesota, 2017 could be a pretty good year. Maybe.

The Grand Forks Herald suggests that with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, the Sunday alcohol ban, designed to protect small liquor stores and the Teamsters who deliver the product to them, could fall.

In an editorial today, the Herald says protectionism is no longer a good reason to keep the ban.

It cited the liquor industry’s reasons for keeping the ban as worth considering but said the proof that it’s outlived its usefulness is the fact its defenders no longer mention the initial reason for having it.

Like other “blue laws,” the 1930s-era ban was meant to honor Sunday as a religious day of rest. And Neal’s column makes no mention of this fact.

Of course, that’s because Americans stopped resting and started shopping on Sundays decades ago. These days, Sunday is the second-biggest shopping day of the week.

Clearly, other retailers have adjusted to Sunday sales. Liquor sellers can, too.

“Give consumers the convenience they want, and give liquor stores the choice to compete seven days a week or not, just like other retailers,” said Quinn Olson, owner of Depot Wine and Spirits in Winger, Minn., in November in a Herald op-ed. Olson’s advice makes perfect sense, and the Minnesota Legislature should comply.

Related: Sunday Sales: Convenience at What Cost? (Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association)