HR 6023: Freedom to Serve Act of 2008

I just saw this linked as a Featured Post at Memeorandum. The link goes to the text of the bill; there is no separate commentary. The title of the bill is misleading; it’s more accurately called the “Freedom to Recruit Act of 2008.” But of course “freedom to serve” sounds better.

Here is the money quote:

(a) Whoever —

‘(1) by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person because that person is or has been providing Federal or State military recruiting services;

‘(2) by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise their right to inquire about or volunteer for service in the active or reserve armed services of the United States or the National Guard of any State; or

‘(3) intentionally damages or destroys the property of a facility, or attempts to do so, because such facility houses or hosts military recruiting services;

shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

‘(b) The punishment for an offense under this section is —

‘(1) in the case of a first offense, a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both; and

‘(2) in the case of a second or subsequent offense after a prior conviction under this section, a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both.

‘(c) In this section —

‘(1) the term ‘facility’ includes the building or structure in which recruiting is conducted;

‘(2) the term ‘interfere with’ means to restrict any person’s ability or freedom to easily enter or leave a recruiting office;

‘(3) the term ‘intimidate’ means to place a person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm to that person or to another;

‘(4) the term ‘physical obstruction’ means rendering impassable entrance into or exiting from a facility that provides military recruiting services, or rendering passage to or from such a facility unreasonably difficult or hazardous;

‘(5) the term ‘military recruiting services’ means the provision by representatives of the Government or of the armed services, to individuals who might wish to serve in the armed services, of information about military service, assistance in selecting a branch of military service, enlistment information, or any other necessary assistance needed to join the armed services of the United States; and

‘(6) the term ‘State’ means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.’

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