Can Texans Buy Booze at Walmart and Costco?

In more than 30 U.S. states, residents can buy liquor at their local Walmarts and Costcos, but that’s not the case in the Lone Star State. But thanks to a landmark ruling recently issued in an Austin federal court, that may change all change.

On March 21, 2018, The Texas Tribune published an article about a protectionist law in Texas that has been keeping giant retailers, such as Costco and Walmart from selling hard liquor. In March, a federal judge in Austin declared the law unconstitutional, but the losing side quickly filed an appeal in an effort to protect smaller liquor stores from competing with massive retailers.

“If the late Tuesday ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman survives appeals, Texas consumers – like those in at least 31 other states and any foreign countries – will be able to buy vodka, tequila and bourbon from Walmart-owned stores and other multinational retailer outlets,” reported theTribune.

“For decades, these laws have stood in stark contrast to Texas values,” Travis Thomas, spokesman for Texans for Consumer Freedom, told the Tribune.“The State of Texas should not pick winners and losers in private industry,” Thomas said.

Who Was the Defendant in the Case?

The chief defendant in the case was the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, joined by the Texas Package Stores Association, which has fought hard to keep the law as it stands.

Lance Lively, the executive director of the Association says they’ll appeal the trial court’s decision and will continue fighting for family-owned liquor stores against “the world’s largest corporate entities that seek to inflate their profits by upending sensible state laws that protect both consumers and small businesses.”

According to the Tribune,the battle began three years ago when Walmart filed a lawsuit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in federal court. The chain argued that the liquor laws were unfair, giving family-owned chains the right to obtain an unlimited number of liquor store permits while completely locking Walmart out of the market.

How do you feel about this case? Would you like to be able to buy your liquor from the big retailers, such as Walmart and Costco?

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