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New version of Stolen Valor bill introduced

Jan. 15, 2013 - 04:53PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 15, 2013 - 04:53PM  |  
A Nevada lawmaker has reintroduced a bill that would make it a crime to knowingly benefit from lying about receiving a military valor medal.
A Nevada lawmaker has reintroduced a bill that would make it a crime to knowingly benefit from lying about receiving a military valor medal. (File)
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A Nevada lawmaker has reintroduced a bill that would make it a crime to knowingly benefit from lying about receiving a military valor medal.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013, introduced Tuesday by Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., is similar to legislation that passed the House last year but did not become law after House and Senate negotiators were unable to agree on details.

HR 258, with 63 original cosponsors, was referred for consideration to the House Judiciary Committee, the same panel that approved Heck's bill last year.

His effort is an attempt to reinstate penalties for lying about being a military hero. The Supreme Court struck down the previous law on grounds that it infringed on free speech rights.

Heck's bill doesn't make it a crime to lie about receiving a military award; the crime is in receiving a benefit from the lie, such as a job, government contract, compensation or health care.

The bill doesn't cover every military award, just those for valor or proof of combat veteran status. The list includes the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart. Also covered would be campaign badges, including the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Combat Action Badge, the Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Ribbon and Combat Action Medal.

Violators would face a fine and up to one year imprisonment. The fine could be up to the amount of money or property a person received as a result of the lie.

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