Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) filed legislation to amend federal law making it a federal crime to vandalize the grave of a member of the Armed Services, whether that member is buried on public or private property. Federal law, as it currently stands, only protects the gravesite if it is located on public property.

"Two days following the hometown funeral of Lance Corporal Jeremy Burris from Liberty, Texas, vandals desecrated Jeremys gravesite, said Poe. The outlaw responsible has since been arrested and charged with a state felony, but no federal provision exists that would protect Jeremys grave from vandalism at a private cemetery. Current federal law protects the gravesites of military men and women who are buried on public property, but not private property. This bill will make sure the honor of the men and women who have so faithfully served our country is preserved on both public and private property.

H.R. 4973:

  • To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide criminal penalties for the destruction of memorials, headstones, markers and graves commorating persons serving in the Armed Forces on private proprty.