JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Laws that once banned retail sales on Sundays are largely gone in many states. Yet it remains illegal in Missouri to sell cars, trucks and motorcycles on Sundays.
Now there is an effort in the Missouri Legislature to lift the ban for motorcycles.
A House committee heard testimony Tuesday from a Kansas City area Harley-Davidson dealer who is one of the main backers of the legislation. Rick Worth said weekends are a prime time for motorcycle enthusiasts to go riding and shopping. His dealership is several miles from the Kansas border, and one of his main competitors is in Kansas.
“He can and does open on Sunday, and he’s very happy to sell my customers motorcycles,” said Worth, the owner of Worth Harley-Davidson.
“In order for us to be competitive, we need to have that day,” Worth added.
As originally drafted, legislation by Reps. Mike Cierpiot and Caleb Jones would have carved an exception in Missouri’s law to allow Sunday motorcycle sales only in Jackson and Platte counties — two Kansas City-area jurisdictions along the Kansas border.
But during Tuesday’s hearing in the House General Laws Committee, Cierpiot offered a revised version of their bills that would allow Sunday motorcycle sales statewide.
“It’s kind of an economic development tool,” said Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit.
No one testified against the bill. But some questioned that assertion.
Sam Licklider, a lobbyist for the Missouri Power Sports Dealers Association, said that — except for border businesses such as Worth’s — most dealerships probably would not sell any more motorcycles with a seven-day work week than with six days. It simply would give consumers more time to shop. He said the motorcycle legislation also could lead to similar requests from car and truck dealerships.
Missouri law already has several exceptions from the ban on Sunday sales of motor vehicles. Sales are allowed of recreational vehicles and mobile homes. State law also allows Sunday sales of tires and repair parts for motor vehicles.
Several motorcycle riders testified in support of the Sunday sales legislation. They said Missouri’s law is outdated.
“It’s just not right. You can buy everything else on a Sunday, so why not a motorcycle?” Bill Kempker, the legislative coordinator for Freedom of Road Riders Inc., said in an interview.
Motorcycle sales bills are HB1618 and HB1735.