County, city stay neutral in Sunday liquor sales push
A state law banning Sunday liquor sales in Kansas is much the same as a law prohibiting gambling, said Jeff Himpel, owner of J.B.'s Liquor Store in Basehor.
The laws don't prevent people from drinking or gambling they just cause people to travel to Missouri to do it, he said.
"People from Kansas will just go to Missouri," Himpel said. "Kansas is losing out on the boats and on liquor."
Last week, the Edwardsville City Council approved a charter ordinance allowing the sale of packaged liquor on Sundays. The ordinance will take effect in November unless successfully challenged by the public.
Edwardsville isn't alone in challenging the state liquor law.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas will place a referendum to allow liquor sales on Sundays on the November ballot.
However, an approved referendum in Wyandotte County wouldn't have any baring on Leavenworth County liquor store owners.
Leavenworth County Commission member Joe Daniels, who represents the third district covering areas such as Basehor and Tonganoxie, said the commission hasn't discussed Sunday sales.
"At this point, it hasn't even come up," Daniels said.
Basehor Mayor Joseph Scherer said there are no plans for the city to pursue Sunday sales either.
"There probably won't be without someone asking us or petitioning for it," Scherer said.
Basehor City Attorney John Thompson said if the law is changed at the state level, individual cities would then have to approve Sunday sales under home rule.
Liquor store owners in favor of Sunday liquor sales argue a change in the law would allow Kansas to recoup the sales tax the state currently loses to Missouri.
Someone purchasing alcohol in Missouri and bringing it back to Kansas is in violation of state interstate laws.
Although action in Leavenworth County doesn't appear imminent, Himpel said Sunday sales should be allowed.
"Anytime you limit a business to where it can only open six days a week instead of seven, it hurts," he said. "I'm for the Sundays being open. I look at it like a service to my customers."
Although his store would open on Sundays if the laws were changed, Himpel said the hours would be less than a normal day.
The store currently closes its doors at 9 p.m., two hours less than laws allow.
"If you're a responsible drinker, you have what you need by 7 p.m.," he said.
J.B.'s Liquor will be joined by a second liquor store in coming months.
Once renovation is completed, a second Basehor liquor store will be housed in the Basehor shopping complex.