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.

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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.”

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Transportation Security Administration officials from treating travelers like criminals, though the measure may be superseded by federal law.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

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