Lawmakers aim to privatize liquor sales in North Carolina

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) –  A lot of newcomers to North Carolina have no idea what you’re talking about when they ask where a liquor store is and you start responding with “ABC.” 

Or that ABC is an acronym for the Alcohol Beverage Commission.

They may also have no clue that your neighborhood ABC Store is run by more local boards than there are counties in North Carolina. 

“I think they should be privatized because the local boards have so much control over the product that they can let into the stores it’s not fair in terms of competition” customer Conor Sullivan told CBS 17.  

Conor Sullivan’s point is much of what’s behind a bi-partisan move to privatize the state’s liquor stores.

House Bill 971 was recently filed in the North Carolina State Legislature. 

Rep. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe) is a co-sponsor of a bill that would change laws that go back nearly a hundred years. 

“Right now, we have laws that have been on the books for so long that it isn’t really taking into consideration what small businesses need what the individual consumer needs” said Fisher.

That could also include more choices and better hours.

It could also eventually lead to other laws that allow Sunday sales and sales in grocery stores. 

“The convenience would really matter to a lot of people,” said Harold Williams, who CBS 17 spoke to outside the Cameron Village ABC Store in Raleigh.

He says he hopes it would also mean convenient locations.  

“You can probably get to one 10 or 15 minutes from your house opposed to 30 to 45 minutes to come to here for instance,” said Williams. 

Fisher said it could also be a game changer for small businesses.  

“They have to make arrangements to have the products picked up from the warehouse now they can make arrangements through ABC to have their products delivered to them so that will make it a whole lot easier for those small businesses,” she said. 

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