Pennsylvania plans to make Stolen Valor a crime

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Pennsylvania’s State Senate unanimously passed a bill that will make it a misdemeanor to benefit from lying about military service, receiving decorations or medals. The bill is now on its way to Pennsylvania’s governor Tom Wolf to be signed into law.

House Bill 168 bans anyone from economically benefitting from lying about their service or decorations. Violators could be charge with a third-degree misdemeanor.

“Our men and women of the armed forces and their families deserve the utmost respect and praise, and criminals who disguise themselves as illegitimate veterans demean our true American heroes. Some people have actually tried to make money by falsely claiming veteran status.” State Rep. Rick Saccone said.

Saccone is an Air Force veteran and a 2018 U.S. Senate candidate. He is fully against people lying about military service or medals to make money, saying “It’s truly an insult and discredits the men and women who have selflessly sacrificed their lives on the battlefield.”

Saccone introduced the same legislation in May 2016, calling it the Stolen Valor Act. It unanimously passed the state House in June 2016, but did not advance in the Senate.

When the new legislative session started in January, Saccone reintroduced his bill and it passed the House 190-0 in April.

In 2013, Congress passed the federal Stolen Valor Act, which addressed those who might lie about having military decorations and medals, such as the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart, in order to obtain benefits.

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