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Entries in felony (1)

Thursday
Mar242011

States' Bills Could Criminalize TSA Agents as Sex Offenders, Felons

States are mad, and they're not going to take it anymore.

Recently, InHardFocus reported on New Hampshire House Bill 628-FN that aims to make the touching or viewing with a technological device of a person’s breasts or genitals by a government security agent without probable cause a sexual assault, punishable as a tier III offender under the criminal offenders registry.

A similar bill also was proposed by Texas lawmakers last week. H.B. No. 1937 states the offensive touching of persons seeking access to public buildings and transportation to be punishable as a felony.

"This bill is about saying enough is enough," Rep. David Simpson told KVUE News. "We’ve turned from prudent caution to ridiculous excessive measures. This is drawing a line in the sand where officials shouldn’t go past without a warrant, without probable cause. You shouldn’t touch someone’s private parts as a condition of travel.” 

And in New Jersey, Senator Michael Doherty introduced three pieces of legislation drafted to eliminate any immunity TSA agents might enjoy when violating New Jersey law during unnecessary and invasive airport screenings.

“For more than a month now, the TSA has quite literally stuck their finger in the eye of law-abiding American citizens while trampling on their constitutionally guaranteed liberties,” Doherty stated. “We call upon every state legislature in our great country to immediately act to put our federal government on notice that the dignity of our citizens shall not be the cost of a failed federal open border policy.”

The following bills were introduced:

  • Makes certain body searches third degree crime of sexual assault under certain circumstances. 
  • Prohibits use of body imaging scanners to screen passengers and airline crew members.
  • Specifies that certain images generated by body scans violate State statutes, prohibiting invasion of privacy, pornography, and endangerment of child welfare under certain circumstances.

“All of these bills remove any claim that TSA agents are immune to any state statutes that they violate when searching passengers or crew,” Doherty concluded. “If we don’t take strong action against these violations, where will it lead? Today planes, tomorrow trains and buses, what then? Will the drive to the market be viewed as a ‘privilege,’ the walk to church? Will we stand upon the slippery slope of paranoia that leads to invasive searches becoming a way of daily life, or say ‘No’ and defend our rights to privacy now while we still have them.”

TSA agents operate under federal laws, which supersede state laws, so it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.