Florida Bill Targets Stolen Valor

| November 7, 2019

A Florida bill aimed at curbing stolen valor has unanimously passed through the first of three committee stops according to floridapolitics.com.

Florida law already makes it illegal for a person to either misrepresent himself or herself as a member of the military or wear “the uniform of or any medal or insignia authorized for use by members or veterans of the United States Air Force, United States Army, United States Coast Guard, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, or the National Guard which he or she is not authorized to wear.”

But those actions are only barred if the person is doing so while “soliciting for charitable contributions or for the purpose of material gain.”

The bill from Avila and Sabitini would also make those actions illegal by clarifying the line about a “material gain,” ensuring it applies to those running for political office or applying for a job.

An amendment adopted Wednesday would now change the law’s language to ban so-called “stolen valor” incidents by an individual “while soliciting for charitable contributions or for the purpose of material gain, including but not limited to obtaining employment or public office resulting in receiving compensation” (emphasis added).

Those who violate the law would be guilty of a third-degree felony.

Hmmm, I guess applying for or being a member of a fraternal veteran’s organization is still fair game if I’m reading this correctly.  Sounds like they won’t tolerate it among the ranks of politicians.

At least it’s a felony.

He [Anthony Sabatini] also addressed concerns regarding the law’s limitation of individuals’ First Amendment rights to free speech.

“We want to protect the constitution. We want to protect the First Amendment,” Sabatini said. “At the same time, we want to prevent harm in society … and I think that’s what abuse of someone’s military record does.

Translation: ‘protect the First Amendment’ = entitlement to telling lies when it comes ones military service.

Seriously, I applaude their efforts.  Lord knows Florida needs stronger deterents to Stolen Valor.

Category: Politics, Stolen Valor, Stolen Valor Act, Veterans in politics

Comments (14)

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  1. Comm Center Rat says:

    POSers in Florida should rest easy knowing the current law apparently contains a loophole allowing the wear of uniforms, ranks, and insignias of the US Public Health Service and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration commissioned corps.

    Anyone remember Vice Admiral C. Everett Koop’s beard when he served in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and as President Reagan’s Surgeon General of the United States?

    POSers seeing those white uniforms worn by bearded doctors and scientists will immediately think of creative ways to launch a new career in public service.

    Come on Florida, close the loophole! / sarcasm

  2. HT '83-'87 says:

    So many POSers down here…so many. A woman at work just told me about a “retired Navy SEAL” that lives in her neighborhood. He takes “business trips” from time to time including when OBL was killed. She said she asked if he was on the mission and all he did was wink and nod approvingly. Obviously this is BS, but since I don’t know him and wasn’t there I can’t call him out on his lie(s).

    Nobody ever brags about doing valve maintenance on the AFFF System, or pressure testing fire hoses on the flight deck, or unclogging the 2nd Division shitter for third time in one week. Nope. Nadda. No way. I guess they are all riding helos and popping bad guys.

    Yeah, we need it bad down here.

    • The Stranger says:

      Yup. Just like nobody ever brags about changing the same lift station pump multiple times because the Brit residents of the CHU would get drunk and amuse themselves by flushing items such as t-shirts, mop heads, towels, etc down the toilet. 120 degrees in the shade and I’m sure you guys can imagine the stench. At least their Sergeant Major “sorted it out” with his troopies and brought over a box of Cuban cigars by way of an apology.

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    Maine, at the other end of the I-95 corridor does
    not seem to have a large bling encrusted Corps.

    People around here tend to be honest about their
    military service. Not a lot of bullshit decals
    and “look at me” stuff on display.
    Military service is an “expected” virtue and
    those that served are highly regarded and need
    not remind anyone.

  4. Roh-Dog says:

    Id like to offer the US’s flaccid member a bit of advice; issue POSers a light aircraft pilot license.
    Let the problem resolve itself.
    That is all, carry on.

  5. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    I wonder if the PuRpLeSuItEdWiNdOwLiCkEr has an opinion about this?

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      I’m certain that that critter has only two brain cells left, one is in a wheelchair while the other pushes it in circles around the inside of his head!

  6. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Sadly, the Florida statute will likely be struck down as to the false claims, again on “free speech” grounds. It may survive as to the defrauding part, but mere bullshit will likely be again made non-criminal.

    Happy if wrong, but so far the track record suggests otherwise.

    Keep on “namin an shamin”.

  7. Mustang Major says:

    I doubt if the first hobo in BDUs with “Homeless Vet” written on cardboard begging for change has been taken off the street in Florida due to falsely claiming military service.

  8. Green Thumb says:

    I wonder how much money the False Commander “Phony” Phil Monkress (CEO of All-Points Logistics)is spending trying to squash this bill?