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New State Law Allows Local Veterans Clubs to Sell Alcohol to All Members of their National Organization

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280

April 6, 2018 – Under legislation supported by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) – and signed yesterday by Governor Snyder – state law has been updated to allow certain private membership clubs that fall under a national umbrella – such as VFW, Elks, and Moose clubs – to directly serve reciprocal members of their respective organizations.

“Until this law takes effect, state law requires out-of-town veterans to rely on others to purchase them a beer while visiting a veteran’s club during their travels,” said MLCC Chairman Andy Deloney. “With the passing of this new law, veterans will now have the freedom to buy themselves a beer when they visit friends and other veterans. We were pleased to assist in the updating of state law to make this possible for our licensees and the veterans they serve. With the new law taking effect on July 4th – 90 days after it was signed – the timing couldn’t be better.”

Under the new law, these specific clubs will be able to sell alcohol to all members of their national organization, not just exclusively to the local members. A club license allows the licensee to sell beer, wine, mixed spirit drinks, and spirits for consumption on the licensed premises and only to bona fide members of the club who are at least 21 years old. SB 662 amends section 532 of 1998 PA 58 and defines bona fide members as follows:

  • For an incorporated or unincorporated nonprofit veterans’ organization that is a branch or chapter of a national organization or an organization chartered by the United States Congress, a bona fide member includes a member of another branch or chapter who possesses an identification card indicating current membership in the same national or congressionally chartered veterans’ organization.
  • For a branch, chapter, lodge, aerie, or other local unit of a national fraternal nonprofit association that is exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(8) or 501(c)(10) of the internal revenue code, 26 USC 501, a bona fide member includes a member of another branch, chapter, lodge, aerie, or local unit who possesses an identification card indicating current membership in the same national fraternal nonprofit association.

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