Blue Laws lifted in South Carolina for 1 year

By: Diane Cho Email
By: Diane Cho Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, June 22, 2007

AIKEN, S.C.---Lawmakers in South Carolina have put a temporary end to an age old debate. This week they voted to get rid of the state's blue laws that keep you from buying non-essential items before 1:30 p.m.

Stephanie Bates, the manager of Crystal Engraves of Aiken, feels it should be a personal decision to shop when you want, not the government's, especially when it affects her bottom line. "The more you're open for the consumer, the more they're going to use you," she said.

Under the existing law, only counties earning $900,000 or more a year in accommodations tax revenue are exempt from the blue laws. But starting July 1st that will drop to just $900 a year, so all retail stores will be allowed to open their doors early on Sundays.

It's a move the Aiken County Council rejected last December.

"We're in an economy today where we have to offer people choices or they go somewhere else," said Council Member Chuck Smith.

But not all retailers support the change. Danny Minolfo says their customers at Lionel Smith, Ltd. have been around for years and know not to come on Sundays. "If we did change our hours, we'd probably only open one hour earlier, so an hour is not gonna make or break our business," he said.

The resolution was passed with a 90-13 vote in the House and a 43-0 vote in the Senate and now awaits the Governor's approval.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Chris Location: Lexington, SC on Mar 6, 2011 at 08:40 AM
    So we can buy beer on sunday now in lexington county?
  • by Jenn Location: IL on Dec 26, 2010 at 05:29 AM
    I am originally from SC and have lived in IL for 3 years. i cant tell you what a blessing no blue laws are. the church goers of the south can just request that day off for crying out loud. or if they have to work Sunday request the evening shift. people below are right the businesses are losing a ton of money not being open.
  • by Carmen Location: Elgin SC on Mar 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM
    I work a lot of Sundays,and most of the people that run in stores very early on Sundays are church people.The come in to get there stuff for Sunday dinner. So they are the reason why most stores are open on Sundays. Maybe if they would start getting there stuff on Saturdays the rest of us could also have Sunday off because they would be made to close. So church people stay out of the stores on Sundays and help the rest of us get off. We might be able to get more people in church this way.
  • by Lisa Location: Aiken on Sep 18, 2009 at 09:10 PM
    What about the people that have to work at these places that now have to open early? They will not be able to attend church. People need to think about others more than they think about themselves. Apparently they don't care about the people having to be there so they can by something that they could have waited a little while longer to buy.
  • by Jason Location: Aiken on Mar 22, 2009 at 04:45 PM
    I'd appreciate a follow up on this story. From my perspective nothing has changed. The same stores are still closed.
  • by T. Location: Bath on Jun 25, 2007 at 07:30 PM
    All for govt' getting out of busniess. PS: Why not fix your email form so as to be same as 99% of rest by asking in following form; Email address (send to) Your name your email address (from)
  • by Gary Location: Aiken on Jun 24, 2007 at 04:37 PM
    In a society where separation of church & state is alleged, it should be apparent that those who wish to practice any sort of religious worship will not be adversely affected in any way by the operation of business on any given day. By the same token, business should not be fettered by canonical thinking, based on religious views, which have always been the basis for "blue" laws. It's really deceptively simple when you think about it. My attendance at church will not be affected by the hours of business at Walmart or anywhere else.
  • by Violet Location: North Augusta,SC on Jun 24, 2007 at 10:20 AM
    I think the Blue Law should be done away with completely. If someone wants to go to church, they will, no matter what time the stores open. SC is loosing a lot of revenue by not opening early sunday because people who want to shop are going to Georgia
  • by ruth Location: graniteville on Jun 24, 2007 at 10:14 AM
    THANK GOD FOR SMALL FAVORS!!!!!!!!!
  • by James Falvo Location: Aiken, SC on Jun 23, 2007 at 05:32 PM
    THANK GOD FOR LIFTING BLUE LAWS. It has been such a pain to have to drive to Augusta, GA to buy things I need on sunday Morning. I will be in a state of bliss when I can purchase the things I may want or need on Sunday morning. Thank you, James Falvo
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