Texas lawmakers author bills to ban TSA body scanners and pat
A bipartisan group of more than 20 state lawmakers have signed on in support of measures to ban the TSA from continuing to apply controversial airport screening procedures in Texas airports.
The supporters include lawmakers that usually find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum, including Fort Worth Democrat Lon Burnam, one of the most liberal members of the Legislature, and Tyler Republican Leo Berman, a staunch social conservative.
“You’ve got civil libertarians. You’ve got conservative Christians,” Simpson said. “One fellow legislator told me, ‘If this doesn’t fly out of committee, I don’t know what will.'”
One of the bills would ban “body imaging scanning equipment” from being installed or operated in any airport in Texas. The other bill would add any TSA style patdown used “to grant access to a publicly accessibl prada handbags e building or form of transportation” to the description of “sexual assault” in the state’s penal code.
Controversy erupted late last year when the TSA rolled out the full body scanners at airports around the country. Those who refuse full body scans are subject to a pat down search that can include the crotch and chest.
Currently, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport has 15 advanced imaging machines in operation at checkpoints at all five of its terminals. Dallas Love Field does not have any scanners but the TSA expects to begin installing them at Love Field this year.
The TSA said it does not comment on pending legislation.
However, there is some question about whether the Legislature can regulate federal activites in Texas airports, particularly those conducted by the TSA. Simpson believes the state can.
“Texas regulates municipal county and regional airports. They determine what equipment goes in them,” Simpson said.
Burnam said he backed the bills because he wanted a “public discussion” about airport security but wasn’t convinced the TSA would comply if the measures passed. “Frankly there’d be no legal way to enforce that,” Burnam said.
D/FW Airport spokesman David Magaa declined to comment on the legal issues surrounding the bills, saying only that “we’re monitoring it.”
During the controversy last year, some airports decided to look at hiring a private firm to provide airport security as San Francisco’s airport currently does. But even private security firms must abide by TSA mandates and protocols that include body scans and pat down searchs.
Similar bills banning the scanners and intrusive searches have been filed in other states, including New Hampshire.
Aman Batheja and Andrea Ahles
Mar 7, 2011 7:09:24 PMComments (6)
As an Australian visiting your country I was left absolutely disg prada handbags usted with the airport screening process. My wife was left traumatised and emotional after enduring what can only be described as constant sexual predatory attacks.
Our first encounter with these despicable screening machines that are clearly a violation of human rights and the equally rude, aggressive and predatory staff was in LAX: We were checking in during a busy period and had been put into a line with the prada handbags standard metal detector machines. We placed our bags into the machine and were front of line waiting to pass through when one of your agents came from the other side and grabbed my wife advising she would need to go through the new scanners that show you naked. When she told them her bags had already gone through and that she was about to pass through the metal prada handbags detector the TSA staff member said that she can do this or he will pat her down. “What’s it going to be, honey?” This comment angered her and she asked why she was pulled out of a line and away from her bags. His response was “because he can”. An American passenger who witnessed all of this advised that we don’t have any rights and she should go through the scanner as the pat down is beyond disgusting. Upset, she did this.
As a result of us leaving our bags unattended and in direct conflict with your regular announcements, a number of our items were found outside of the plastic container and sitting loose on the rollers. This included a pair of expensive sunglasses that were scratched from being caught in the rollers and having other containers roll over them.
The second encounter was at DTW where my wife was first asked to remover her woollen top (not a jacket) leaving her in only an under shirt. When she entered the scanner, the TSA staff member asked her to put her hands above her head and to stick her chest out. He then leered at her whilst the screening was conducted. After I had passed through the scanner, I told the TSA staff I wanted to make a complaint. I was told I didn’t have any reason to complain and to go to the website. Before boarding our flight, an announcement was made that there will be further TSA screening as the new scanners do not pick everything up. It appears these machines are not effective and only serve one disgusting purpose.
The final encounter was when we were leaving the USA via LAX. The staff had put us in a line with a regular metal detector as the screening line was very busy. We put our bags on the machine and I passed through the metal detector. As my wife went to follow me, a TSA member grabbed her and said she would be required to go through the new scanner. Yet again, she was pulled from the front of a short line to be put into the middle of a long line for no apparent reason. She protested and detailed her experiences to date but was told it was that or a pat down. Since the first encounter we had asked people about these and were horrified that anyone would be allowed to assault another person in such a way. My wife continued to protest and the man advised he would be happy for her to “take her options”. Yet again on our trip, my wife went through these invasive scanners upset.
Furious with what could legally be deemed as sexual assault (or at the very least, harassment) of my wife, we decided to monitor the security screening to get a pattern for the “random selection” of passengers to be screened.
There were two lines. One with a metal detector and the other a new screening device. It didn’t take long to figure it out! No matter what line a person was in, an attractive woman would require higher screening one hundred percent of the time. Elderly persons next to zero percent. Children zero percent and young males you don’t seem to care as they stay in their original line. Interesting pattern.