Missouri legislator wants to keep retailers closed on Thanksgiving

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri Democratic lawmaker plans to introduce legislation to keep most retailers from opening on Thanksgiving.

Barnhart representative Jeff Roorda said early Black Friday shopping shouldn't ruin the Thanksgiving dinners of workers. Roorda's proposal would keep Black Friday on Friday.

"This isn't about hurting retailers. It's about putting them all on a level playing field, and they can all throw their doors open on midnight on Thanksgiving," Roorda said.

He said his Thanksgiving Family Protection Act would exempt restaurants, gas stations and drug stores.

"If we allow them to keep a leapfrogging one another to see who can get the earliest Black Friday sale, then Thanksgiving becomes Black Friday Eve instead of one of the most important family holidays," he said.
Roorda hopes when Thanksgiving comes around next year Missouri will join only three other states -- Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine -- in banning big box stores from opening on Thanksgiving.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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