Local news outlets are reporting that a long-awaited bill putting teeth into Stolen Valor legislature has passed in New Jersey. First introduced in January of this year, the new law, appropriately dubbed the New Jersey Stolen Valor Act, “makes unauthorized use of military uniforms, medals or insignias, and certain false statements regarding receipt of military awards with intent to obtain benefit crimes of third degree.”
The new law is worded similarly to other Stolen Valor laws dealing with impersonation of a military member for personal gain, with fines starting at $1000. Any money collected from Stolen Valor prosecutions will go to a good cause: The Military Dependents Scholarship Fund. Previously-busted military posers are not subject to prosecution unless they re-offend… but as our friends at This Ain’t Hell pointed out, that’s a pretty common occurrence with these types of people.
In addition to the Stolen Valor Act, New Jersey Governor and presidential hopeful Chris Christie also signed a law creating a scholarship fund for dependents of military members killed since 9/11, and one that sets favorable conditions for the award of state contracts to companies owned by disabled veterans. That’s three solid, veteran-friendly laws for the Garden State.
Good job, New Jersey.