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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO GRAVE MARKERS TO COMMEMORATE THE GRAVE OF A VETERAN, POLICE OFFICER OR FIREFIGHTER

     Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
     Chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 73A the following section:-
     Section 73B.  (a) For purposes of this section, “commemorative grave marker” shall mean a grave marker, headstone, monument, structure, medallion or other object designed to commemorate the grave of a veteran, police officer or firefighter.
     (b)  Whoever sells or attempts to sell a commemorative grave marker that has been stolen and the person knows or should know the commemorative grave marker to be stolen, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 for a first offense and for a second or subsequent offense by imprisonment in a state prison for not more than 5 years or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2½ years and by a fine of not more than $5,000.
     (c)  Whoever receives, retains or disposes of a commemorative grave marker that the person knows or should know to be stolen, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000; provided, however, that no such penalty shall be imposed upon: (i) a person who receives or retains the commemorative grave marker with the intent to return it to a cemetery, a member of law enforcement, a member of a fire department, a member of the department of veterans’ services, a non-profit veterans’ services group or a veterans’ agent of a city or town; or (ii) a person who in fact disposes of the commemorative grave marker by returning it to a cemetery, a member of law enforcement, a member of a fire department, a member of the department of veterans’ services, a non-profit veterans’ services group or a veterans’ agent of a city or town.

Approved, November 23, 2015.