(a) In General. - Whoever knowingly wears, manufactures, or sells 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) Congressional Medal of Honor. - (1) In general. - If a decoration or medal involved in an offense under subsection (a) 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) Definitions. - (A) As used in subsection (a) with respect to a Congressional Medal of Honor, "sells" includes trades, barters, or exchanges for anything of value. (B) As used in this subsection, "Congressional Medal of Honor" means - (i) a medal of honor awarded under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14; (ii) a duplicate medal of honor issued under section 3754, 6256, or 8754 of title 10 or section 504 of title 14; or (iii) a replacement of a medal of honor provided under section 3747, 6253, or 8747 of title 10 or section 501 of title 14.
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 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.