Erie County Legislators recently agreed to pass the Stolen Valor law which creates legitimate repercussions for individuals who pretend to be current or retired military members.
The law would fine those in violation of "theft of valor" which is the act of pretending to be an active or retired military member for financial gain. If the deception is serious enough, an individual could face possible jail time.
There was a stolen valor law made at the national level in 2013, however that did not give local law enforcement authority over the matter. This new law would allow Erie County officials to punish those who deceive the public.
According to Erie County Legislator Ed Rath, this is all being done to protect veterans.
"Now it will be illegal for those to basically disrespect the sacrifice made by our veterans."
The law, which was approved by the Erie County Legislature, is now at the desk of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. If he agrees with and signs the law then 60 days later it will be in affect.