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Charles County Commissioner Bobby Rucci expects his colleagues to authorize dealer car sales on Sundays following the passage of enabling legislation during this year’s session of the Maryland General Assembly.

Rucci (D) said local car dealers initially approached him to express concerns over the state’s “blue law” prohibiting Sunday car sales in all but Prince George’s, Montgomery and Howard counties. The ability of county residents to cross over into Prince George’s and buy a car on Sundays, particularly with a new Carmax in Brandywine, was hurting local business, Rucci said.

The five county commissioners agreed to ask for legislation adding Charles to the list of counties exempt from the blue law in their list of 2014 legislative requests.

“I think everybody thought it was a good idea, and it means a lot more business for Charles County,” Rucci said.

Sponsored by the county’s delegation, the bill passed the House by a unanimous 135-0 vote. The Senate amended the legislation to merely allow the commissioners to allow Sunday car sales, following a public hearing on the matter. The amended bill passed 45-0 in the Senate and then 133-5 in the House. It has yet to be signed into statute by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), but there is little fear that the bill will not become law.

Once the bill takes effect Oct. 1, Rucci fully expects the commissioners to act on their newfound authority and permit Sunday car sales.

“I can’t see why it wouldn’t pass because we all sent it to the delegation,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing for Charles County. It gives business an opportunity to strive.”

jnewman@somdnews.com