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April 18. 2012 10:30PM

Senate kills bill over database of TSA abuses

CONCORD — The Senate Wednesday killed a bill that would have created a state database to track and review abuses by federal airport security agents.

House Bill 628, which passed the House on a 188 to 136 vote, would have allowed someone who believes an airport security screener was overly aggressive or abusive to report the incident to the police or country sheriff.

The bill also would have allowed a person to record or videotape a search by a federal security agent.

Originally, the bill would have charged an airport screener with sexual assault for touching or viewing a person's breasts or genitals, which would have required the agent to register as a sex offender with local police.

Senate Transportation Committee Chair Sen. Jim Raucsh, R-Derry, said the airport security checkpoints are federally controlled and under federal jurisdiction. The bill “would place local and state law enforcement in an adversarial position to the federal agents,” he said. “Police do not want to be in that situation.”

Sens. Raymond White, R-Bedford, and Jim Forsythe, R-Strafford, urged their colleagues to pass the bill.

“We do need some sort of recourse against the TSA (Transportation Security Agency),” White said.

Under the bill, the database would have been maintained by state police. The name of the person making the complaint would have been confidential, but the database of complaints would have been public, along with the TSA officers' names.

A local law enforcement officer who did not take a complaint from a citizen or intervene at the citizen's request could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and official oppression under the bill.


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