Selling counterfeit designer handbags is against the law, as is pretty obvious to anybody who has ever seen all the stalls along Canal St. suddenly close without warning behind a wall of metal shutters. But a new law proposed by NY Councilwoman Margaret Chin would make even buying fake designer handbags illegal.
“To take counterfeiting seriously, you have to treat it the same way you would stolen property,” said John Gioconda, a lawyer who represents several fancy luxury brands. “If you’re caught purchasing it, you’re punished. It’s the only way to put a real dent in the problem.”
According to the NY Post, the new law Chin proposes would hit buyers of fake designer goods with a fine of up to $1,000 and even up to a year in prison.
“It’s always illegal for people to sell, but it’s not illegal for the people who buy this stuff,” Chin explained. “Hopefully, this law will cut down on the demand.”
Chin said that opponents of the bill say they’re concerned about the potential for punishing America’s innocent visiting aunts, who might just accidentally wander down to Chinatown and think they’ve found a really, really good deal on a pair of Tory Burch flats. But Chin says it’s hugely unlikely that anybody would buy a satchel from a guy muttering “handbags, handbags, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton,” on the street and think that everything was on the straight and narrow.
“People are worried that some innocent middle-aged woman might unwittingly purchase a [counterfeit] bag,” she said. “If you go into a back room, basement or van, you probably know what you’re doing is not legal.”
There’s also the price thing to consider. Some of those fake handbags can be pretty darn expensive, but it seems highly unlikely that anybody would really think they were paying $100 for a real Birkin.
Via NY Post