Bill proposes county-by-county vote on Sunday liquor sales - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Bill proposes county-by-county vote on Sunday liquor sales

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWOTN, OK (KSWO) - We're hearing from local liquor store owners on a proposed bill that could allow liquor to be sold on Sundays.

Senate Bill 211 was created by Senator Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma City. It will allow voters to decide on a county-by-county basis whether liquor stores can open between noon and midnight on Sundays. The bill will also allow county commissioners to schedule elections, or let residents start petitions to get a measure on the ballot. Liquor stores had hoped Sunday Sales would be part of an overhaul of last year's Oklahoma's alcohol laws, but the language didn't make it into the bill's final version. The Sunday Sales bill passed unanimously by a committee last Thursday. It now heads to the full Senate for discussion.

"I would not stay open to midnight. I would not stay open to midnight any night of the week," Richard said.

Owner of Cache Road Liquor store J.P. Richard says liquor stores in Oklahoma have closed at 9:00 p.m. since 1985. If Senate Bill 211 were to pass counties would be able to vote on whether liquor stores can open between noon and midnight on Sundays. Richard said staying open late can be dangerous, and that is what concerns him.

"Ninety percent of the problems that packaged stores had, public drunkenness, rowdiness, armed robbery attempts, shoplifting, everything. Ninety percent of those went away, because it seems around 8:30 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. is sort of the wishing hour that's when consumers are a little over on tilt and they want to make a last run  well if you stay open past 9 they are going to be in and so it puts the public at risk, it puts my clerk at risks and I wouldn't do it," Richard said.

While Richard is not in favor of staying open till midnight he is in favor of being open on Sundays. He said he would open from noon to four or noon to five.

Owner of Fluffy's Liquor Store, Fluffy Mason he doesn't mind whether the bill passes or not, but says it ultimately comes down to the voters.

"A lot of our customers would like the convenience of it, but then again a large proportion of the community would be against selling liquor on Sunday. My personal opinions are pretty neutral on that. If it does pass we will be open, if it doesn't we will not shed any big crocodile tears," Mason said.

Richard believes voters in the area will support it.

"Voters here will definitely support it if it is ever enacted or if they ever get a chance. The reason I say that is because Comanche County was almost 75/25 in support of state question 792, so yes I think it will pass," Richard said.

And some of those local voters like Wayne Wiauke said despite concerns about the dangers of staying open till midnight he would vote in favor of the bill and believes it will bring several benefits.

"I would vote yes because I think it would be good for business and it would keep more people happier keep them off the streets they can stay at home and just relax and enjoy their Sunday," Wiauke.

The Bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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