Blue Laws ban stores from opening on Thanksgiving

BOSTON (WWLP) – Blue Laws, or Sunday laws, date all the way back to the late 1700’s. I found out whether state lawmakers believe businesses should open their doors on Thanksgiving.

Shoppers in three New England states (Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine) will have to wait until midnight on Thanksgiving night to snag the good deals. The state’s Blue Laws make it illegal for retail stores to open on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) told 22News there have been attempts in the past to get rid of the law.

“We repealed most of the Blue Laws a long time ago, but there’s still occasionally legislation filed to get rid of it for Thanksgiving Day and that always ends up in study.”

It is unclear why they’re called Blue Laws, but some believe it is because the Puritans printed the laws on blue paper. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts is in support of giving businesses the option to open on Thanksgiving, as is the case in forty-seven other states. Westfield State Representative John Velis says it may be time to update the Blue Laws so Massachusetts can compete with neighboring states.

“A lot of these people are going to New Hampshire and Vermont and shopping as opposed to staying right here in Massachusetts and shopping here so it may be time to revisit them,” said Rep. Velis.

Until then, Massachusetts shoppers will just have to wait until after Thanksgiving.

 

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