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    james roller 2

    Could someone please let me know what was the bill which first forbid the sale of the MOH and when was it enacted? I believe that I recall medals and replicas being legally sold in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I have read the 2006 Stolen Valor Act and have attepted to read the fine print describing previous changes to the statute, but this fact eludes me. Thanks for any help.

    jb floyd

    The critical law is Title 18, Section 704, US Code, which has been on the books since 1923 with prohibitions on the sale, manufacture and sale of federal decorations "except pursuant to regulations". In about 1965, based on a legal opinion from the US Attorney for Northern Illinois saying that "pure barter" was fine, sellers started requiring a "trade item" be included with each sale. So, a check for $350 and a used postage stamp would get you a Medal of Honor. The Stolen valor Act of 1991 specifically mentioned the Medal of Honor and increased penalties for the sale of an MoH. The 2006 SVA included the language about false claims (since ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court).

    The clause "except persuant to regulations" refers to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which are the implementation rules for the law. In this case, at least since 1991, the CFR has permitted the sale of all US federal awards except the Medal of Honor.


    That looks to me like one of the old Lordship medals without a maker’s mark, which is how they usually sold them until the prosecution we all know about.

    Regardless, that medal is/was being offered by a seller in the UK so US laws do not apply.


    And we should keep on pushing to have this law changed as our medals are winding up overseas. As collectors, we preserve history and tell a story. We are not impostors.

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