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East Tennesseans mixed on possibility of wine and liquor sales on Sunday

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Another day could be added for shoppers to pick up wine and liquor. In a vote of 55 to 35, the state's House of Representatives approved a bill which, if passed, would allow Sunday sales of wine and liquor, as well as on some holidays.

More: Tennessee house passes grocery store Sunday wine sales bill

Things have generally stayed the same at Toddy's Liquor and Wine since opening in 1962. John Cook's father opened the store, "In the last two years I've seen more change than the first, 54 years, and I imagine it's going to keep changing."

This time it would come down to business hours. Grocery stores would be able to sell wine and liquor stores would be able to sell wine, along with liquor, on Sundays.

Cook says he's not sure how this possibility would play out, "Well we're going to increase our payroll and I'm not dumb enough to think that we're going to sell more product. I mean the people in Tennessee can only drink so much alcohol and if we expand their opportunity to buy seven days a week, instead of six, I don't think that's going to increase consumption. And without increasing consumption, we're not going to benefit."

If lawmakers pass this bill, liquor stores could start selling right away. Grocery stores would not be able to sell wine on Sundays until January 1st.

"I'm completely against it. I think it should not be sold on Sunday. We've passed so many other laws about business open on Sunday, let's let one day be blessed," said Donald Snyder of Nashville.

"I think that it's fine. I don't see a problem. Convenience and also I think that it's going to be good for business owners. It'll boost sales for them and anything that puts money into the economy and business owners, then I think it's good for everyone," added Cheridy Diamondstone of Knoxville.

If this possible legislation moves forward, wine would still not be for sale on Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. State senators are next taking up the issue on Wednesday.

"I think it's about time that we can," said Diamondstone.

"It doesn't need to be Sundays. It needs to be closed," said Snyder.

"Things are changing and I guess we'll just have to roll with the punch," added Cook.

Tennessee is one of 12 states that still have laws banning Sunday wine and liquor sales, that includes mostly southern and mid-western states. Alabama, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. Indiana is the only state that also bans beer sales on Sundays.


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