Congress Has Good News and Bad News

According to leaders of the Jewelry Industry Security Coalition, Congress was expected to approve additional funding for the FBI’s fight against jewelry thefts. But legislation to fight the “gray market” and illegal watch sales wasn’t passed.

This summer, the House of Representatives okayed a bill for more FBI funding, and the Senate passed a bill adding $2.2 million for the FBI’s Jewelry and Gem Theft program (JAG). The Senate bill was expected to be approved by Congress before it adjourned.

However, legislation making it a crime to tamper with identification numbers on watches and other products is dead. It was opposed by coalitions of Internet retailers and discounters, mass marketers, chain drug stores, and gray marketers (who obtain and sell legitimate products without manufacturer authorization). They claimed the proposal was “anti-consumer.”