Blue laws are an anachronism

November 9, 2009 · Posted in Commentary 

I moved to Colorado a little over 3 years ago from Washington state, having lived there for 17 years.  I moved to Washington from California, where I essentially grew up.  In California, there are no blue laws.  In Washington, liquor sales are prohibited on Sunday, but beer and wine are still available. 

Colorado seemed like a more progressive state than Washington, so imagine my surprise when I found out after moving here that liquor, wine, and full strength beer could not be sold on Sunday.  Fortunately, that law was repealed last year.  I can now buy a bottle of wine on Sunday if I like. 

I lived here well over a year before I found out about another Colorado blue law that is still on the books.  In casually driving by car dealerships on Sunday, I noticed that they always seemed to be very slow, i.e. no visible customers on the lot.  I made a passing comment to the passenger in my car one Sunday and she informed me that car sales are prohibited on Sunday in Colorado.  WHAT?!?!?!?!  I had never heard of such a thing before.

For some stupid reason I started thinking about Colorado’s prohibition on Sunday car sales and decided to do some research.  There are several states across the country that prohibit Sunday car sales and they’re not all in the Bible Belt.  However, most of the blue laws that I could find dealt with Sunday alcohol sales in one form or another.

Is it right for the government to tell car dealers they can’t be open on Sunday?  It seems to me that car dealers should have the right to be open on Sunday, if they choose to do so.  Besides, wouldn’t increasing the hours a dealership is open mean more jobs in this economy?

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