AUSTIN (AP) – The Texas House passed a bill that would make it a criminal offense for public servants to inappropriately touch travelers during airport security pat-downs.

Approved late Thursday night, the measure makes it illegal for anyone conducting searches to touch “the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person” including through clothing.

READ MORE: Texas COVID-19 Hospitalizations At Lowest Level Since Last June

It also prohibits searches “that would be offensive to a reasonable person.”

The bill’s chief sponsor is Republican Rep. David Simpson, who said, “this has to do with dignity and travel, and prohibiting indecent, groping searches.”

READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?

He believes it will keep Transportation Security Administration officials from treating travelers like criminals, though the measure may be superseded by federal law.

After a brief but raucous debate, lawmakers approved the measure with little opposition — drawing applause from supporters.

MORE NEWS: Firefighters Battle Raging Fire At Addison Apartment Complex

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)