Texas: Simpson files anti-body-scanner bill

by
March 5, 2011

Written by: Andy Hogue, The Lone Star Report

A freshman Representative filed a bill to penalize airport body scanner operators: Including TSA agents.

Can they do that to a federal agent? Bill author Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) thinks so. And he’s not alone, with 18 co-sponsors from both parties (see list below) and a few organizations.

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 bill read.

The penalty is capped at $1,000 per day per violation.

The bill is supported by the Travis County Republican Party, the Travis County Libertarian Party, ACLU-Texas, and Austin-based Texans for Accountable Government which pushed for a city of Austin resolution against the scanners.

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 his weekly blog post.

If it becomes law, Texas will be one of at least two states opposing the measures, including New Jersey and New Hampshire.

A press conference on the bill originally scheduled for Monday has been postponed.

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).

To read more, visit: http://www.lonestarreport.org/Blog/tabid/65/EntryId/1022/Simpson-files-anti-body-scanner-bill.aspx

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