According to the New Hampshire Union-Leader newspaper, Dr. Darren Tapp of Concord has given up his dream of being a successful mathematician because he refuses to consent to airport security measures. Dr. Tapp testified before the New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee that the thought of an enhanced pat-down was enough to make him take the train home to visit his family instead of an airplane.
Backing up Dr. Tapp is a coalition of New Hampshire Republican Liberty Caucus legislators in the State House. The legislation being discussed, HB 628, would make the touching or viewing of a person’s breasts or genitals by a government security agent sexual assault. If passed, the law would require New Hampshire agents convicted of sexual assault to register for life as tier 3 sex offenders — the most serious classification.
RLC member and bill sponsor State Representative Andrew Manuse, R-Derry, called the new security procedures a slippery slope. “What’s next? Will they do body-cavity searches?” he asked, and noted he was told of a woman who lives with one of his constituents being strip-searched at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
Manuse (pictured, left) presented a petition to the committee with 145 signatures supporting the bill. The petition was up only one day on the Republican Liberty Caucus website, he said. Another bill sponsor and RLC legislator, Rep. Daniel Itse, R-Fremont, said, “Law enforcement officers should tell a citizen why the person is being searched. Randomly pulling someone out of line, or full-body screening everybody goes beyond the pale. That’s not what America is about. We’re surrendering our national character.”
Republican Liberty Caucus legislators in other states and in Congress have also fought the TSA regulations, without any success thus far.