04/29/2011 02:29 pm ET Updated Jun 29, 2011

Margaret Chin Not Backing Off Counterfeit Handbag Penalties [UPDATE]

UPDATE: Margaret Chin released this statement:

“Council member Chin is in no way backing down from this bill. The language of the bill provides for a civil or a misdemeanor penalty. This is standard text found in amendments to the “Public Safety” title (title 10) of the Administrative Code and allows the City to pursue additional penalties. The bill is drafted in this way to allow discretion on the part of the NYPD and the involvement other agencies. Ultimately, every bill submitted by the City Council is required to go through the hearing process where suggestions are made and potential modifications are made. This is the legislative process. This is the democratic process. At this point, no modifications have been made to the bill.”

Council member Chin said “Why would I back down from a bill I just introduced yesterday?”

LOWER MANHATTAN -- Tourists who buy knockoff handbags on Canal Street might escape without a year in jail.

Councilwoman Margaret Chin is already backing off her push for tough penalties, including jail time, for the counterfeit shoppers in Chinatown, her chief of staff said Thursday.

"We're definitely getting some pushback," Jake Itzkowitz said just a few hours after Chin introduced her legislation in the City Council. "I think [the bill] may not stay in its current form. The year of jail time may change."