Opinions mixed as Sunday liquor bill gets one step closer to pas - WSMV News 4

Opinions mixed as Sunday liquor sales bill gains momentum

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Tennessee is one of only 11 states that don't allow alcohol sales on Sunday. But lawmakers are now one step closer to lifting that ban. 

As News4's Liz Lohuis reports, not everyone is on board. 

"Usually its dark up and down these aisles at Village Wine and Spirits on Sundays," said employee Virgil Statom. "They have to close up shop for that one day a week. A new law could change all of that and employees here are welcoming it."

A bill proposing liquor sales on Sunday passed a major hurdle in the state legislature today, raising spirits at the Hillsboro Village store. 

"It's time for Tennessee to move into the 21st century," Statom said.

Statom says customers from out of state are always questioning the state's Sunday liquor ban. 

"It's kind of an embarrassment that Tennessee is so antiquated in that respect versus other states," he said. 

Statom said he sees the proposed law as a way to boost business, but not all local liquor stores see it that way. 

"This is a local job killing act," said Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro). "It will put people out of business."

Rudd says he's heard from a number of store owners who say the change could be costly -- especially since they lost a big chunk of change when grocery stores starting selling wine.

"If we do this, we are going to be helping the big-box, out-of-state stores sell more liquor at the expense of local owners," Rudd said. 

While some aren't thrilled with the idea of going to work on Sundays, other want the extra hours. 

"I'd love to work on Sundays," Statom said. 

One of the co-sponsors of the bill took a poll and said, of those who responded, 97 percent say they support the measure. 

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