Texas Tries to Ban TSA Pat-downs – Again

The motto of the Texas legislature might well be, “If at first you don’t succeed …” since once again a move is reportedly underway to ban airport pat-downs by the TSA. [See air travel expert Rick Seaney undergo a pat-down, below]

Pat-down Angst

While pat-downs aren’t given often – though they are the alternate screening method for those who refuse to go through airport body scan machines – they have been the source of much angst for some and grist for the occasional viral video involving crying children. However, recent changes in security regulations for kids under 12 are supposed to greatly decrease the number of child pat-downs.

Crying Kids and Pat-downs

First Pat-down Ban Attempt – Failure

Last year, Texas had a similar bill under consideration that would have criminalized TSA pat-downs involving touching “the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through the clothing.” A Texas-based U.S. Attorney then sent lawmakers a letter noting if they proceeded, the TSA would probably have to cancel all flights out of the state. That was that, and presumably, this latest attempt at a pat-down ban will meet with a similar fate.

Leaving the TSA Behind?

On the other hand, some observers point out that there are at least a few Texans who favor secession from the U.S. (though Gov. Rick Perry is not among them) which could mean leaving all the accoutrements of the federal government behind including the TSA. It could also mean the feds would solve the problem the same way they did last time.

Watch air travel analyst Rick Seaney get a pat-down:

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Published: November 15, 2012