Earlier this week, freshman Texas state Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) has filed two bills to try to counter the threat of the TSA in Texas airports. One bill would ban airport body scanner in Texas. The legislation already has 18 co-sponsors from both parties. The other bill would make sexual contact with airline passengers by TSA agents a state felony.
David Simpson was endorsed by the RLC last year. He also spoke at a RLC meeting in November.
The bill, HB 1938, makes it a civil penalty for anyone working in a locally owned airport to install or operate whole-body imaging equipment — “including a device that uses backscatter x-rays or millimeter waves, that creates a visual image of a person’s unclothed body and is intended to detect concealed objects.” The penalty is capped at $1,000 per day per violation.
Simpson may also have the backing of U.S. Congressman John Carter of Texas, a member of the U.S. House Appropriations and Homeland Security committees. “On Thursday I met with U.S. Congressman John Carter to discuss strategies for stopping the federal Transportation Safety Administration’s implementation of unconstitutional and unreasonable searches of U.S. citizens as a condition of travel,” Simpson wrote in a blog post.
The bill is supported by the Travis County Republican Party, ACLU-Texas, and the Austin-based Texans for Accountable Government. Co-authors so far include: Reps. Jose Aliseda (R-Beeville), Leo Berman (R-Tyler), Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont), Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball), Dan Flynn (R-Vann), John V. Garza (R-San Antonio), Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock), Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), Charlie Howard (R-Sugar Land), Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), Jim Landtroop (R-Big Spring), Jodie Laubenberg (R-Rockwall), Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), Debbie Riddle (R-Houston), Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), and James White (R-Hillister).