Hello again folks.
We have had some more Stolen Valor Act information come in recently. Looks like Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has signed legislation basically mirroring the act on the federal level. It has been a while since I looked at the wording of the federal bill, but I noticed the Missouri version preempts with this phrase: Any person who, with the intent to misrepresent himself or herself as a veteran or medal recipient...(read the legislation here)
The bill also includes: except when authorized under regulations promulgated under law - refering to 32 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 507.
The following is from a previous post concerning the Federal Stolen Valor Act and the Code of Federal Regulations. It is a statement from Senator Kent Conrad. As I understand, it was his version of the final bill signed into federal law.
The CFR specifically states in Section 507.12 (b) “Mere possession by a person of any of the articles prescribed in Sec. 507.8 of this part is authorized provided that such possession is not used to defraud or misrepresent the identification or status of the individuals concerned.” According to numerous legal experts consulted on the drafting of the Stolen Valor legislation, “mere possession” would include: family members that inherit medals, museums, collectors, approved medals dealers, historians, and other persons in possession or selling medals that do not use them for fraudulent purposes. In addition, CFR Sec. 507.8(a) indicates, “the articles listed in paragraphs (a) (1) through (10) of this section are authorized for manufacture and sale when made in accordance with approved specifications, purchase descriptions or drawings.”
The articles listed as authorized for manufacture and sale in Sec. 507.8(a) include: decorations, service medals, ribbons, lapel buttons, and badges with the exception of the Medal of Honor. The CFR allows for the sale of all US medals (except the Medal of Honor) and insignia, provided that an official government manufacturer has made them and that the Institute of Heraldry (IOH) approved those pieces.
I feel the CFR does protect collectors, even when state legislation is introduced. However, I am not an attorney or an expert in the legalities of legislation. Also, in Missouri specifically, the preemptive with the intent to misrepresent wording does add a certain amount of security for the collecting community.
In addition to Missouri, a State Assemblyman has introduced Stolen Valor Legislation
in California. In New Jersey, Stolen Valor Legislation passed the senate in June.
Not to be misunderstood, Manion's International Auction House (and myself) fully support the Stolen Valor Legislation and would like nothing more than to see these fraudulent individuals punished. We just want to remain certain that the legislation does not harm militaria collectors, and others who strive to keep history alive for generations to come.
We encourage collectors to keep up on legislation introduced in their state. Every state legislature has a website where pending legislation can be reviewed. Most of these sites feature a "keyword" search ability. It seems that "stolen valor" will be included somewhere in each piece of proposed legislation, and would be an effective search phrase. Please make your voices heard to your elected officials and urge them to include wording which will protect the collecting community while punishing those who impersonate our nation's heroes.