Butler County Times Gazette
  • Editorial: Time to get Sunday beer sales off the 'banned' wagon

  • It's about fairness
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  • Kansas has a long history of restrictive laws on alcohol sales.
    Kansas had prohibition in 1881 – almost 40 years before the 19th Amendment brought it to the United States. When the 19th Amendment was repealed, Kansas voters overwhelmingly decided to continue to prohibit alcohol sales in the state.
    It took two world wars and two nuclear bombs dropping to get Kansas to sell legalize alcohol.
    The temperance movement continued to rule the state until 1948 when voters finally passed an amendment to legalize the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages.
    It wasn’t until 1987 that alcohol sales in bars were allowed.
    Those laws cast a long shadow because in 2014, the sale of beer and liquor on Sunday is still banned in towns and counties in the state that haven’t passed resolutions expressly permitting it. Alcohol sales are still forbidden on Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving.
    Andover, Augusta and El Dorado all allow the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays. However, stores outside those city limits in Butler County are not allowed to compete on a level playing field. Steve Stanfield owns one of a handful of stores that have licenses to sell beer Monday through Saturday but can’t sell to customers on Sunday. He came to the County Commission to ask them to pass a resolution to allow those rural retailers to compete with their competition inside city limits.
    He didn’t even ask for full liquor sales. Stanfield just wants the commission to allow low-point beer sales in the county on Sundays.
    This isn’t a public safety issue. Forcing a person who wants to buy beer to drive further isn’t safer.
    If these sales are allowed anywhere in the county, they should be allowed everywhere in the county.
    This isn’t about alcohol sales. It is about fairness.
    The county commissioners should support this change.

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