Sunday-Closing Laws Under Fire In States

Blue laws aimed at curtailing business activities on Sunday are increasingly being scrutinized by lawmakers.

Blue laws have long mandated the closure of certain types of businesses on Sundays in states throughout the nation. The Prohibition movement in the 19th and 20th centuries made the laws more restrictive, and the genesis of many was religious pressure. But economic concerns in a number of states are helping to propel a drive to throw the laws off the books or scale back their reach, according to USA Today.

The newspaper noted that over the past two years, Alabama, Kentucky, New York, Rhode Island and Washington have altered blue laws or given local governments greater ability to do so. In 2006, when New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve fell on Sundays, 34 states moved to allow the sale of alcohol.

Still, supporters of blue laws are not giving up the fight.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told the newspaper, “There are many people who are forced to work on Sundays rather than have the time off to go to church.”

Richard Story of the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance told USA Today many blue laws are unfair.

“You can rent porn on Sunday,” he said, “but you can’t take your son or daughter hunting.”