Texas Could Pass First TSA Anti-Groping Measure

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Texas could become the first state to ban invasive pat down searches by airport screeners.

The Texas House of Representatives and Senate approved revised legislation on Monday that prohibits intentional, inappropriate touching by Transportation Security Administration agents.
    
The bills would make it a misdemeanor to touch a person's sexual organs or other sensitive areas. Violators could be punished with up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.
    
Proponents of the pat downs say such screening measures are necessary to keep the public safe.

"Personally, I'm fine with it. I mean, safety first. I really don't find them too gropy," one Michigan traveller Shawn Morfitt said.

"I don't really like somebody touching me, but that is for the protection of everybody than it'll have to do. If that is the law, then that is the law," Denver traveller Arthur Samson said.

Others, however, expressed displeasure with what they viewed as watered down version of the original bill.
   
"TSA is abusing people," said Don Hart of Austin, who opposed the new version. "TSA will be empowered to keep doing what they are doing."

The TSA is opposed to the measure and has threatened legal action if it becomes law.

The two GOP-controlled houses have until Wednesday to reconcile the differences in their bills.

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