Utah lawmaker wants to ban TSA pat-downs

David Grossman|USAToday

Rep. Carl Wimmer is drafting a similar bill that will ban TSA pat-downs in Utah. Some legal scholars say the new states’ rights drive has more smoke than fire, but for lawmakers, just taking a stand can be important enough.

While a proposed bill to make “invasive” groping and pat-down searches by the TSA a crime is stalled in a divided Texas legislature, a similar bill may be taking shape in Utah.

“Legislation that would make it a misdemeanor for TSA agents to touch the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through the clothing,” unanimously passed the Texas House, but not the state Senate, according to the Examiner.

READ MORE: Is it time to ‘abolish the TSA’?

Meanwhile, KTVX, the ABC affiliate television station in Salt Lake City, reports that Rep. Carl Wimmer is drafting a similar bill that will ban TSA pat-downs in Utah.

Wimmer said, “I want the TSA officers to follow the same standards and protocols that law enforcement officers around the nation follow when it comes to searching somebody,” according to the KTVX story.

KTVX also reports that Wimmer said “there is no clear data that shows the effectiveness of pat downs when it comes to aviation safety.”

Despite Wimmer’s proposal, KTVX also spoke with travelers who said they are in favor of pat-downs, fearing a less secure aviation system without them.

According to KTVX, Wimmer plans to introduce his anti-pat-down bill at the next session of the Utah Legislature in 2012.

With proposed anti-pat-down bills now in two states, could this be the beginning of a growing trend?

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