Bill Would Make Some Airport Screening Sexual Assault  | Those Convicted Would Be Required To Register As Sex Offenders

WMUR 9|New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. — Lawmakers and residents engaged in heated debate Tuesday over a bill that would make random airport security pat-downs and body scans criminal in New Hampshire.

The bill (HB628-FN) “makes the touching or viewing with a technological device of a person’s breasts or genitals by a government security agent without probable cause a sexual assault,” according to the introductory text of the bill.

“Let’s put their name on the sex offender registry, and maybe that will tell them New Hampshire means business,” said bill co-sponsor Rep. Andrew Manuse, R-Derry.

“That is a crime in this state, and we should charge them every single time,” said bill co-sponsor Rep. George Lambert, R-Litchfield.

It wasn’t a large crowd in support of the bill, but the support was passionate. Concord’s Darren Tapp said security procedures cost him a trip home for the holidays in December.

“This time, the news is talking about enhanced pat-downs,” he said. “I cried on the phone with my mother that I did not wish to submit to enhanced pat-downs.”

Transportation Security Administration officials would not comment on the proposed legislation except to say that security checkpoints are under federal jurisdiction. Some members of the Criminal Justice Committee said that it is a federal issue.

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