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NYC bill would criminalize buying knockoffs

NEW YORK - Those fake designer handbags that tourists and New Yorkers like to shop for on the streets of Manhattan may soon be illegal — to buy, not just to sell.

City Councilwoman Margaret Chin says she'll introduce a bill that would criminalize the purchase of designer knockoffs.

If it becomes a law, buyers could face up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.

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Chin says visitors should come to New York for its authenticity — "not to buy fake bags or electronics."

Her district includes Chinatown, where many street vendors peddle cheap handbags and watches. Some tourists shopping in the area Tuesday were not enthusiastic about the proposal.

Chin said that if the law passes she'll make sure plenty of warning signs are posted.

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