Why one man says Tenn. liquor stores are in danger

David Ball # State

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- After passing the state house with a vote of 55-35 Monday, a bill that would allow the sale of wine and liquor on Sundays is headed to the senate for a vote Wednesday.

Manager of Volunteer Spirits in Jefferson City Tony Wiggins said he does not expect a large business boost if the bill passes, but he said he does feel it would be easier on his customers.

"The main thing we see is convenience for our customers, so whatever is convenient for them,"
Wiggins said.

However, many Tennesseans said they feel that liquor sales should not take place on Sundays. In the Tennessee House debate, many lawmakers cited scripture. Stylist Cathy Yates said the idea of selling wine and liquor on Sundays does not sit well with her faith.

"If you want to go out on Sundays and buy it, you can, if you don't want to, you don't have to, but personally, me, I wouldn't... because I think it is God's day, that's just the way I was raised,"
Yates said.

Wiggins said visitors to Tennessee might appreciate being able to buy liquor and wine on Sundays, but the bill might be another step towards hurting small business owners, according to Wiggins.

"I think our biggest threat is going to be that the grocery stores and big stores are gonna start selling liquor, before long that's their ultimate goal and it's gonna hurt,"
said Wiggins.

The measure would allow grocery stores to sell wine on Sundays and liquor stores to be open for business that day from the hours of 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The House passed the bill 55-35 on Monday, with four members present but not voting.

An amendment added to the bill would bar the sales of liquor and wine at grocery stores on Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Gerald McCormick, a Republican from Chattanooga, was one of the main sponsors of the bill.

The full Senate has yet to vote on the measure, but it was placed on the Senate schedule for a vote on Wednesday, April 11.