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Many goods and items are restricted from being sold between midnight and noon on Sunday, rendering virtually all retailers closed in those hours, including malls and some large retail chains (though it is open Sundays before noon only between Thanksgiving & Christmas Eve); however, some businesses that open 24 hours, like grocery stores, are allowed to be open on Sunday. Prior to 1967, the law was stricter in that all businesses were closed from 12 a.m. The changes were made after a 1966 blizzard, after which citizens were not able to purchase some needed goods and services due to the blue law.
The law changed once more in 1991 to allow businesses to open at noon on Sunday.
As recently as 2010, Governor Chris Christie had proposed the repeal of these Blue Laws in his State Budget, Car dealerships are not allowed to be open or do business on Sundays anywhere in the state. and until midnight for off-premise, except on Sundays; no alcohol is allowed to be sold on or off-premise.
In November 2012, Christie issued an executive order to temporarily suspend the blue law due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Stores can apply for permits to sell on and off-premise on Sunday if their municipality allows it. Prior to 2006, off-premises alcohol sales were forbidden until noon on Sundays, and liquor/wine stores were required to be closed the entire day.
Bergen County, part of the New York metropolitan area, has one of the largest concentrations of enclosed retail shopping malls of any county in the nation; four major malls lie within the county.
Paramus in Bergen County, where three of the four major malls are located, has even more restrictive blue laws than the county itself, banning all type of work on Sundays except in grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, hotels, restaurants, and other entertainment venues.
In both exceptions sales were not allowed before noon. Alcohol sales were likewise banned on Sunday until 12 p.m., and on Christmas from 12 a.m. Liquor stores are not required to be open on Sundays, but those who choose to do so are restricted to the hours of 11 AM and 6 PM.
Because grocery stores are not permitted to carry wine or liquor, the older law essentially meant that only beer and alcoholic malt beverages could be purchased at all on Sundays.
The NYS Alcoholic Beverage Control Law prohibits the issuance of a full liquor license for establishments on the same street or avenue and within two hundred feet of a building occupied exclusively as a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship.
Blue laws may also prohibit retail activity on days such as Sunday.
Erwin Fahlbusch and Geoffrey William Bromiley write that throughout their existence, first-day Sabbatarian organizations have been supported by labor unions in lobbying "to prevent secular and commercial interests from hampering freedom of worship and from exploiting workers." For example, the United States Congress was supported by the Lord's Day Alliance in securing "a day of rest for city postal clerks whose hours of labor, unlike those of city mail carriers, were largely unregulated." Arkansas has 75 counties, 39 of which are "dry", meaning the sale of any alcoholic beverage is prohibited entirely. Private facilities must have licenses, which can be rigorous.