Bill would ban beer sales at TN self-checkout lanes - WSMV Channel 4

Bill would ban beer sales at TN self-checkout lanes

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The next time you buy a six-pack of beer, a new law could slow down your purchase. There is a plan to ban beer sales at self-checkouts.

Stores already ask to see buyers' identification, but some say there is still a way for some who are underage to get around it.

"We want to make it more difficult for minors to purchase beer," said Rep Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton.

That's why he wants to ban beer sales at Tennessee self-checkout lanes.

"I've got a 15-year-old son, and a few weeks ago he told me he watched a movie where they were doing something called 'swipe-and-swap,'" Sanderson said.

In that scenario, a customer will show up at self-checkout with two six packs - one that's beer, one that's not. They will scan the soda, but wind up putting the beer in their bag, which fools the machine's scale.

The bill already has opposition from those who don't see a problem.

The president of the Tennessee Grocers Association calls the bill a solution looking for a problem and possible payback for pushing lawmakers to support the sale of wine in grocery stores.

He says there is not a problem with underage sales through Tennessee self-checkouts

"A lot of the data's about getting carded. Tennessee's 100 percent. So there's no apples-to-apples comparison about these California Union-based studies and what's going on in Tennessee," said Jarron Springer, with the Tennessee Grocers Association.

For the bill's sponsor, proving the problem is one thing. The possibility of a problem is more pressing.

"We're not depriving anyone the opportunity to buy beer. We're just depriving them of the opportunity to use a self-check, because we want to avoid the opportunity for a minor to do the same," Sanderson said.

The bill would require stores to post signs alerting customers and would fine them for not doing their part.

Lawmakers are set to discuss the bill in a House committee Wednesday.

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