Fall River Lawmaker Writes Bill to Punish Hoarding and Price Gouging
State Lawmaker Alan Silva is sick of it. He's tired of walking into grocery stores, Walmart, or BJ's Wholesale Club (pictured above) and seeing bare aisles.
Silva says the reason this is happening is because of opportunists who are buying up all of the hand sanitizer, paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning products they can find and hoarding them during our current COVID-19 crisis. Those products happen to be hot for this particular crisis, but things like bottled water and generators might be examples of items hoarded during a future hurricane.
Silva's bill would limit individuals in Massachusetts from returning certain products like toilet paper around times of a state of emergency. Silva hopes this will be a deterrent for people taking advantage of a buying frenzy to hoard items, then sell them online when they become difficult to find in stores. The thought is that these people might not buy up all of the product if there is a risk that they might be stuck with the goods if they don't sell out before the stocks are replenished.
"When you speak to some of the grocery stores managers, they are saying the stocking issues they are having is not because of a shortage of the product, it's because the demand is so great that they can't put the product on the shelves fast enough." --Massachusetts State Representative Alan Silva
Silva is hoping that his bill will be advanced quickly, as he'd like to see it implemented as soon as possible. There's a chance that it could have an impact during the current crisis.
"Toilet paper is the best example, and probably the oddest example because it's not (something used to treat) a symptom of COVID-19," joked Silva.