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Oberweis proposes legislation to allow Sunday car sales

Published: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Earlier this week, state Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, introduced legislation that would allow consumers to purchase cars on Sundays.

A law has been on the books since 1983 that prohibits auto dealers from selling cars on Sundays, which was supported by car dealers when it was enacted. Oberweis said he’s heard arguments for keeping the status quo, but said the law is “one more example of government intrusion.”

He said consumers can buy cars on Sundays in 32 states, and he said he thinks it’s time for Illinois to “modernize.”

“It turns out this [1983 law] was pushed by car dealers because they didn’t want to sell cars on Sundays,” he said. “But consumers want to buy cars on Sundays. The government has no place in that. They should have that right.”

He said some car dealers have argued that Sunday car sales wouldn’t mean any more car sales – it would just drive customers to come in on Sundays instead of another day during the week. Oberweis said car dealers that choose to be closed on Sundays can do so, much like businesses such as Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby choose to be closed on Sundays.

“Don’t use the government to force competitors to do what you want to do,” Oberweis said.

He said he initially decided to introduce the legislate because he’d heard from a lot of consumers who wanted the option to buy a car on Sunday, but some car dealers want the law to remain in place.

“I met with the Auto Dealers Association Board of Directors earlier this week, and they are not very happy,” he said.

Oberweis said he doesn’t expect any further action to be taken on the legislation until next year.

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