Florida Senate - 2013 CS for CS for CS for SB 390 By the Committees on Judiciary; Criminal Justice; and Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security; and Senator Dean 590-03317-13 2013390c3 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to veterans’ organizations; defining 3 terms; prohibiting a business entity from advertising 4 or holding itself out to the public as a veterans’ 5 organization or similar entity under certain 6 circumstances; providing that an entity that violates 7 the restrictions on advertizing violates the Florida 8 Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act; authorizing 9 certain veterans’ organizations to enforce the 10 prohibition against false advertising; providing for 11 criminal penalties; amending s. 817.312, F.S.; 12 prohibiting misrepresentation as a service member or 13 veteran and wearing military or veterans’ uniform, 14 medal, or insignia; providing an effective date. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. (1) As used in this section, the term: 19 (a) “Business entity” means any corporation, partnership, 20 limited partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, 21 franchise, association, individual, or trust, whether 22 fictitiously named or not, doing business in this state. 23 (b) “Veterans’ organization” means a business entity whose 24 net earnings do not inure to the benefit of any private 25 shareholder or individual and that exists substantially for one 26 or more of the following purposes: 27 1. Promoting the social welfare of the community. 28 2. Assisting disabled and needy war veterans and members of 29 the United States Armed Forces and their dependents, and the 30 widows and orphans of deceased veterans. 31 3. Providing entertainment, care and assistance to 32 hospitalized veterans or members of the United States Armed 33 Forces. 34 4. Carrying on programs to perpetuate the memory of 35 deceased veterans and members of the United States Armed Forces, 36 and to comfort their survivors. 37 5. Conducting programs for religious, charitable, 38 scientific, literary, or educational purposes. 39 6. Providing insurance benefits for their members or 40 dependents of their members or both. 41 7. Providing social and recreational activities for their 42 members. 43 8. The earnings of the organization are devoted to 44 charitable, religious, scientific, literary, educational, or 45 fraternal purposes. 46 (2) A business entity may not advertise or hold itself out 47 to the public as a veterans’ organization or similar entity 48 unless the entity is a veterans’ organization. 49 (3) A business entity that violates subsection (2) violates 50 the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act under part 51 II of chapter 501, Florida Statutes. 52 (4) Consistent with part II of chapter 501, Florida 53 Statutes, a veterans’ organization whose membership is limited 54 to past or present members of the United States Armed Forces, 55 individuals who are cadets or are spouses, widows, widowers, 56 ancestors or lineal descendants of past or present members of 57 the United States Armed Forces or of cadets may bring an action 58 to obtain a declaratory judgment that a business entity is 59 violating this section and to enjoin the entity who has 60 violated, is violating, or is otherwise likely to violate this 61 section. 62 (5) A business entity that knowingly and intentionally 63 represents itself as a veterans’ organization or similar 64 organization but that does not comply with subsection (2) 65 commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as 66 provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, Florida Statutes. 67 Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 817.312, Florida 68 Statutes, is amended to read: 69 817.312 Unlawful use of uniforms, medals, or insignia.— 70 (1) A person may not misrepresent himself or herself as a 71 member or veteran of the United States Air Force, United States 72 Army, United States Coast Guard, United States Marine Corps, 73 United States Navy, or National Guard or
andwear the uniform of 74 or any medal or insignia authorized for use by members or 75 veterans of the United States Air Force, United States Army, 76 United States Coast Guard, United States Marine Corps, United 77 States Navy, or the National Guard which he or she is not 78 authorized to wear while soliciting for charitable contributions 79 or for the purpose of material gain. This section does not 80 prohibit persons in the theatrical profession from wearing such 81 uniforms, medals, or insignia while actually engaged in such 82 profession. 83 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.