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CITE

    18 USC Sec. 704                                             01/05/2009

EXPCITE

    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 33 - EMBLEMS, INSIGNIA, AND NAMES

HEAD

    Sec. 704. Military medals or decorations

STATUTE

      (a) In General. - Whoever knowingly wears, purchases, attempts to
    purchase, solicits for purchase, mails, ships, imports, exports,
    produces blank certificates of receipt for, manufactures, sells,
    attempts to sell, advertises for sale, trades, barters, or
    exchanges for anything of value any decoration or medal authorized
    by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of
    the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces,
    or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or
    medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized
    under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this
    title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
      (b) False Claims About Receipt of Military Decorations or Medals.
    - Whoever falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in
    writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by
    Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States, any of the
    service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, the
    ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal,
    or any colorable imitation of such item shall be fined under this
    title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
      (c) Enhanced Penalty for Offenses Involving Congressional Medal
    of Honor. -
        (1) In general. - If a decoration or medal involved in an
      offense under subsection (a) or (b) is a Congressional Medal of
      Honor, in lieu of the punishment provided in that subsection, the
      offender shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more
      than 1 year, or both.
        (2) Congressional medal of honor defined. - In this subsection,
      the term "Congressional Medal of Honor" means -
          (A) a medal of honor awarded under section 3741, 6241, or
        8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14;
          (B) a duplicate medal of honor issued under section 3754,
        6256, or 8754 of title 10 or section 504 of title 14; or
          (C) a replacement of a medal of honor provided under section
        3747, 6253, or 8747 of title 10 or section 501 of title 14.
      (d) Enhanced Penalty for Offenses Involving Certain Other Medals.
    - If a decoration or medal involved in an offense described in
    subsection (a) or (b) is a distinguished-service cross awarded
    under section 3742 of title 10, a Navy cross awarded under section
    6242 of title 10, an Air Force cross awarded under section 8742 of
    section 10, a silver star awarded under section 3746, 6244, or 8746
    of title 10, a Purple Heart awarded under section 1129 of title 10,
    or any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized
    by law, in lieu of the punishment provided in the applicable
    subsection, the offender shall be fined under this title,
    imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

SOURCE

    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 732; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, Sec.
    16, 63 Stat. 92; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXII, Sec. 320109, title
    XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(E), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2113, 2146;
    Pub. L. 103-442, Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4630; Pub. L. 104-294,
    title VI, Sec. 604(b)(16), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507; Pub. L.
    107-107, div. A, title V, Sec. 553(e), Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat.
    1117; Pub. L. 109-437, Sec. 3, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3266.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

                                 1948 ACT
      Based on section 1425 of title 10, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Army and Air
    Force (Feb. 24, 1923, ch. 110, 42 Stat. 1286; Apr. 21, 1928, ch.
    392, 45 Stat. 437).
      Section was made to cover the decorations and medals of the Navy
    Department as well as the War Department.
      Minor changes were made in phraseology.
                                 1949 ACT
      This section [section 16] clarifies the wording of section 704 of
    title 18, U.S.C., to embrace all service decorations awarded to
    members of the armed forces whether by the Army, Navy, Air Force,
    or other branch of such forces. (See note to sec. 5 [of 1949 Act,
    set out in Legislative History note under section 244 of title
    18]).
                                AMENDMENTS
      2006 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109-437, Sec. 3(a), substituted
    "purchases, attempts to purchase, solicits for purchase, mails,
    ships, imports, exports, produces blank certificates of receipt
    for, manufactures, sells, attempts to sell, advertises for sale,
    trades, barters, or exchanges for anything of value" for
    "manufactures, or sells".
      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109-437, Sec. 3(b)(2), added subsec. (b).
    Former subsec. (b) redesignated (c).
      Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109-437, Sec. 3(b)(1), (d)(1), redesignated
    subsec. (b) as (c) and inserted "Enhanced Penalty for Offenses
    Involving" before "Congressional Medal of Honor" in heading.
      Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 109-437, Sec. 3(b)(3), inserted "or (b)"
    after "subsection (a)".
      Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 109-437, Sec. 3(d)(2), added par. (2) and
    struck out former par. (2) which defined "sells" and "Congressional
    Medal of Honor".
      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109-437, Sec. 3(c), added subsec. (d).
      2001 - Subsec. (b)(2)(B). Pub. L. 107-107 amended subpar. (B)
    generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (B) read as follows: "As
    used in this subsection, 'Congressional Medal of Honor' means a
    medal awarded under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10."
      1996 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104-294 amended Pub. L. 103-322, Sec.
    320109(1). See 1994 Amendment note below.
      1994 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103-322, Secs. 320109(2),
    330016(1)(E), amended subsec. (a) identically, substituting "fined
    under this title" for "fined not more than $250".
      Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320109(1), as amended by Pub. L. 104-294,
    Sec. 604(b)(16), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and
    inserted heading.
      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 320109(3), added subsec. (b).
      Subsec. (b)(2)(B). Pub. L. 103-442 inserted ", 6241, or 8741"
    after "3741".
      1949 - Act May 24, 1949, covered all service decorations awarded
    members of the armed forces by any of the armed services.
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by Pub. L. 104-294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see
    section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104-294, set out as a note under section
    13 of this title.
                                 FINDINGS
      Pub. L. 109-437, Sec. 2, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3266, provided
    that: "Congress makes the following findings:
        "(1) Fraudulent claims surrounding the receipt of the Medal of
      Honor, the distinguished-service cross, the Navy cross, the Air
      Force cross, the Purple Heart, and other decorations and medals
      awarded by the President or the Armed Forces of the United States
      damage the reputation and meaning of such decorations and medals.
        "(2) Federal law enforcement officers have limited ability to
      prosecute fraudulent claims of receipt of military decorations
      and medals.
        "(3) Legislative action is necessary to permit law enforcement
      officers to protect the reputation and meaning of military
      decorations and medals."
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