CONCORD, N.H.—The people of New Hampshire have hope that abusive Transportation Security Administration agents may soon be held accountable for their actions thanks to an amended bill that passed the New Hampshire House today, according to the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, which endorsed HB 628.
HB 628, relative to searches conducted for purposes of transportation-related security, will require law enforcement officers employed by the state, a county or a local community to log complaints by citizens in New Hampshire who believe they were abused by a TSA official at the airport, at a bus or train station or on a roadway. The public log will be held by state police and will allow the press, the public and the legislature to track patterns of abuse by TSA officials. The bill also requires law enforcement officials to support citizens who choose to audio or video tape their encounter with a TSA agent.
“I would like to thank the members of the House who supported this bill for understanding the need to protect passengers and transportation vehicles while also respecting basic civil rights and decency,” said Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “With the database created by this bill, the State of New Hampshire will be shining the light of public scrutiny on TSA officials, which will hopefully lead to their more respectful behavior toward citizens in New Hampshire—perhaps even across the country.”
TSA officials have been in the news for conducting strip searches against Americans randomly, without any reasonable suspicion, which has led to the complete erosion of civil liberties in the name of security, leaving many passengers literally in tears. Some of the things TSA officials have done to women, men, the elderly and children would be called sexual assault if it was in any other venue. Yet, TSA officials have largely gotten away with their abusive searches, with TSA officials claiming they were just “following procedures.”
“HB 628 would put TSA agents on notice that New Hampshire will be watching what they do, and it will also hold state and local law enforcement officers accountable to their duty to protect the rights of citizens,” McKinney said. “This is a bill that will give citizens a place to turn within the state when they feel they’ve been abused that is not the same agency as the one allegedly doing the abusing.”
The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire extends its gratitude to Rep. George Lambert of Litchfield, the sponsor of this bill, and Rep. Andrew J. Manuse of Derry, a co-sponsor, who both worked tirelessly to ensure this bill passed through the House. Reps. Laura Jones of Rochester, Dan Itse of Fremont and Frank Sapareto of Derry were also co-sponsors on the bill.