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End of Sunday liquor sales ban to return as legislative issue, once again

Powerful lobbying groups oppose the change, but legislators will try once again to end one of the last vestiges of the old blue laws.

Another attempt is expected in the coming legislative session to scrap one of the remaining vestiges of the old “Blue Laws”: Minnesota’s Sunday liquor sale ban.

The St. Cloud Times says legislators likely will once again take up the issue, which is opposed by powerful lobbying groups.

The ban dates back to the days when many activities were banned on Sunday; today, just the Sunday bans on liquor and car sales remain.

Says the paper:

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Public opinion polls have shown most Minnesotans favor eliminating the ban. Sundays are now one of the busiest retail shopping days of the week, and many consumers say they’d like the convenience of being able to purchase liquor on Sundays.

Minnesota is one of 12 states that bans liquor stores from selling booze on Sundays. None of the surrounding states have similar bans.

But the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association has successfully fought off attempts to eliminate the ban in the past. And some liquor store owners say the change would hurt their sales.

In border cities like Duluth and Moorhead, though, residents already can cross the state line to get their six-packs for football at liquor stores in Wisconsin or North Dakota.

State Rep. Jenifer Loon, a Republican from Eden Prairie, tried unsuccessfully last session to end the ban, and says she’ll try again. Will it work this time?

“Maybe 2015 will be the year,” Loon told the paper. “It’s certainly building momentum from where we started a few years ago.”