NYPD, Feds Testing Gun-Scanning Technology, But Civil Liberties Groups Up In Arms

Terahertz Imaging Detection Out To Detect Illegal Concealed Weapons

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is stepping up their war against illegal guns, with a new tool that could detect weapons on someone as they walk down the street.

But is it violating your right to privacy?

Police, along with the U.S. Department of Defense, are researching new technology in a scanner placed on police vehicles that can detect concealed weapons.

“You could use it at a specific event. You could use it at a shooting-prone location,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez on Tuesday.

It’s called Terahertz Imaging Detection. It measures the energy radiating from a body up to 16 feet away, and can detect anything blocking it, like a gun.

And the idea is causing quite the uproar on both sides of the privacy issue.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

“I think it’s good. People will be safer and it will be a safer environment,” Jessica Ramos said.

“If it’s going to make us safer as citizens I’m okay with that,” said Lori Sampson of Lake Ronkonkoma.

“I think it’s all about invading people’s lives more and more and more,” Antonio Gabriel said.

“It’s definitely a privacy issue, but it’s for our safety. So it’s just one of those things, a double-edged sword,” added Clarence Moore of Union, N.J.

Police Commissioner Kelly said the scanner would only be used in reasonably suspicious circumstances and could cut down on the number of stop-and-frisks on the street.

But the New York Civil Liberties Union is raising a red flag.

“It’s worrisome. It implicates privacy, the right to walk down the street without being subjected to a virtual pat-down by the Police Department when you’re doing nothing wrong,” the NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman said.

“We have involved our attorneys as we go forward with this issue. We think it’s a very positive development,” Kelly said.

People on the street have differing opinions on the price they’d be willing to pay for safety.

“There are a lot of cameras already here, so as people walk they’re being filmed. And most of the time they don’t know it,” said Jennifer Bailly of Jersey City.

“If they search you, you’re not giving consent, so they can do what they want, meaning they can use that as an excuse to search you for other means. I don’t think that’s constitutional at all,” Devan Thomas said.

“I don’t agree with it. I have the belief that if you forgoe some of your freedom then it’s not freedom at all,” added Erwin Morales of Hoboken.

“I think it’s good. I think if someone has something to hide and they’re going to worry about it, who cares?” Robert McDougall added.

The Department of Defense is also researching the Terahertz technology to detect suicide bombers wearing explosives.

Do you think this is an invasion of privacy? Or are you in favor of relinquishing some freedoms to keep the streets safe? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …


One Comment

  1. nunya says:

    Look its this simple.

    The criminals will find a way to defeat this.

    The average citizen will be intimidated and loose more liberty.

    A liberal win all around. Just as you and your city deserves. You are animals, and while I do not agree will liberal facism generally, ill make an exception for NY. You are too far gone, you are unable to make your own decisions so let bawny fwank tell you whats healthy. Just leave the rest of the country alone.

  2. Sal says:

    bloomberg will soon have trans-fat detection machines which will let the police
    know if you are carrying trans-fats under your coat. On the horizon is salt-detection guns which the police can use to keep sodium out of the city’s food.

  3. twolazy says:

    The Fed an\d NYC don’t need to spend this kind of money on this technology, heck, just mandate that everyone go naked, its really, really hard to conceal that w\eapon in that state of dress …er, undress .. whatever.

  4. NYC42A says:

    If there is any reason to support the Second Amendment Foundation this is it. NYC is in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. If there are 80 million gun owners out there, there should be at least 80 million dollars to make NYC comply the with laws of this country. NYC isn’t going after hardened felons. They are arresting people on their way to work for carrying pocket knives. They are arresting med students and marines who misunderstood the laws. Here is the reality. NYPD officers are underpaid. If they want to make money for their family they need to make arrests. Arrests bring overtime. Arresting a med student or office worker is a lot safer than a gang banger. The intention may not be to abuse this technology but it will happen.

  5. lovinlife says:

    Life is not safe, get over it.

  6. bullett says:

    Isn’t that just like the civil liberties out to protect the perp with a gun, ready to rob or kill innocent people? I wonder in today’s society what John Dillinger would have thought about the civil liberties and their platform. Would he have supported them or opposed them? I’m certainly opposed to them on this issue.

  7. David Arbogast says:

    The simple fact that they are calling it “Terahertz” rather than Thermal imaging should be a clue they playing games with us again….

    1. nunya says:

      This is true, just heat up your gun lol.

      1. Refreshthetree says:

        Terahertz is just a frequency, ie number of cycles per second. 10E12-10E14 hertz. Lower frequency, and longer wavelength than visible light. The other thing is that these are looking at energy GIVEN OFF by molecules in the body being blocked by a weapon, yes you radiate IR. LET IT BE KNOWN THOUGH THAT THIS IS A 4TH AMENDMENT RIGHT VIOLATION, BLATANTLY.

    2. Chuck says:

      Every New Yorker who knows about this and is active on the streets, should have several folded squares of aluminum foil stuck in various pockets. If many people did this, it would drive the cops crazy. And then they may make it against the law to transport aluminum foil.

  8. tntblaster says:

    Probably ask for your “papers” next to walk down the street… that is after they illegally scan you.

  9. UWSDWF says:

    Why is that we don’t have intelligent people in this times? Thanks KJ really puts it into perspective. God Bless America and our founding father who had the intelligence to have a plan for our future!……..oh and it did revolve around GOD! There is no greater power.

    1. Jeffrey Missal says:

      Get over yourself. The Founders went out of their way to exclude religion in American politics.

      1. Barry says:

        Sorry but you are WRONG. The founders ONLY restricted the Federal Government from dictating a religion… the majority of the 13 original STATES actually did have official religions in their CONSTITUTIONS. The founding fathers just agreed that it was STATES RIGHTS AND NOT A CENTRAL GOVERNMENT’S regarding religion…

  10. Matt says:


    1. The resolution seems very low. How can they be certain they’ve detected a gun blocking the radiation and not a iPod, RFID-blocking wallet, big belt buckle or any number of other things. That’s a lot of unjustified searches.

    2. Banning private possession of firearms is itself illegal. NY should get its head right about that issue.

    3. If law enforcement agencies keep enacting policies that are adversarial with the general population, it’s going to provoke a backlash.

  11. Had enough says:

    Thank you all the same, but I am safer with my handgun whether I conceal it or open carry- I am not a criminal and if you “see” that I have a gun and you “assume” I am, then FU. Come and try to take it!

  12. LBR says:

    What happens to people like me that have medical devices that are implanted? It’s metal… I can’t fly because of ATF’s treatment now I’m going to have to stop going to NYC because of this? Maybe a couple million visitors should visit elsewhere!

  13. AS says:

    Remember, suspects are guilty. Otherwise they wouldn’t be suspect, would they?

  14. James Drouin says:

    Not to mention the “fact” that New York has done nothing more than remove firearms from the hands of the law-abiding.

    1. Jason Vincent says:

      It’s a known fact that law-abiding citizens are much easier to catch.

      1. Brad says:

        When you’re inefficient and can’t catch the real criminals, you create new ones and catch them to pad your numbers.

        1. Punisher says:

          Exactly, this technology is about disarming people so the government has total power over them.

          1. Ghost of Reagan says:

            If you’d elect someone like Rick Perry for president, he’d push for new laws punishing states like NY from infringing on the RKBA. But then, he’d also push to get rid of unions, entitlements, etc, and you Yankees wouldn;t stand for any of that now, would you.

            1. Baneberrygirl says:

              New Yorkers have become submissive “sheeple” who continue to give up their liberties in exchange for the illusion of “safety”. What happened to the tough, independent, take no prisoners New Yorkers that I grew up with? (I’m a Jersey girl who moved away from Jersey over 20 years ago and live in “free” Tennessee)….Tell Mayor Assclown and Stasi Chief of Police Kelly to go screw themselves or better yet, vote with your feet and move to Tennessee!

            2. FatherLiberty says:

              Rick Perry? Rick Perry is establishment goon. Under him, more tyranny is guaranteed. You want freedom? Then vote Ron Paul.

          2. RepairTheDamage says:

            Sounds like its time to invest in a “man bag”

  15. johnB says:

    They’ll just point it at poor blacks and mexicans. They will love them for it too.

  16. Steve says:

    Can you imagine 40 million armed Americans over running Washington?

  17. Linda Green says:

    I for one choose to never fly and go through these scanners because of my privacy I think is being invaded and fear from radiation they have proved is way over the top on these machines. As a citizen who does not carry a gun or go around commiting crimes I don’t think anyone should be pointing these things at me on the street. Enough is enough. Laws should be for the criminals and not the American Citizen just trying to get by in this crappy world. We have enough to worry about why add to it. I will take my chances in the real world just like I always have. No more invasion of our privacies.

  18. Brad says:

    Yeah, judging by our comments, I would say it’s not a two sided debate after all.
    Notice they don’t talk about the increase cancer risk.
    We will fight soon.

  19. Lance James Stinson says:

    This is the best video i have seen explaining the The Second Amendment and the facts about it. Educate yourself , friends and family. Make this viral today. We might need it soon.

    What is the Militia? You , Me, any citizen that will protect the constitution , their family and their community.

    is Dedicated to the Preservation of our Freedom, the Security of our Rights and the Restoration of our Constitution to its rightful place as the LAW of our great Republic.



    Our founders created it for good reason.

    “Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
    George Washington
    First President of the United States

    “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”
    Patrick Henry
    American Patriot

    Actually if you read what the founding fathers wrote in reguarding the 2nd amendment and militias in relation to the Constitution, you will see that they spoke of at least 2 types of militias
    1. the organized militia ie state guard (not the federal national gaurd ) but a state gaurd.
    2. the unorganized militia ie all the citizens that would b e armed to assisit and back up the organized militia in times of emergency.
    And that the right to keep and bear arm is the every citizen not for just a select group.

    “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”
    Patrick Henry
    American Patriot

    “The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … ”
    Thomas Jefferson
    letter to Justice John Cartwright, June 5, 1824. ME 16:45.

    And as for the Constitution itself, well this says it all, and is very frightening in light of what the Obama administration is doing everyday.

    “The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.”
    Thomas Jefferson
    Third President of the United States

  20. reggie says:

    Terahertz scanners shred human DNA.


  21. Gardentoolnumber5 says:

    A government that would spy on its citizens is not a just government. Every unjust government must be brought to its rightful termination and a just government instituted.

    “Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people. They fix, too, for the people the principles of their political creed.” –Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestley, 1802.

    We have come down the road to tyranny so far, that any candidate that is not speaking of our constitutional guarantees of freedom does not deserve to be elected. There is only one presidential candidate, and you know who he is.

  22. Rick O'Shea says:

    I refuse to fly and to go to any state which violates my inalienable right to carry a firearm. Look up inalienable and kiss my a**.

  23. No to mention and the storm troopers know this terahertz radiation damages DNA and causes cancer. This is the same wavelength as TSA porno scanners.

    I think we should invent terahertz scanners that fry cops “junk” like chicken McNuggets. Fair is fair. 🙂

  24. ben405 says:

    A real simple solution.
    One law that states that IF YOU USE A WEAPON while committing a crime,Plea bargan, early release for good behavioer and a host of other perks given criminals will no longer be considered, in addition, 15 or 20 years will be added on top of the penalty for the crime.
    If burglary is a two year crime, the burglar carrying ANYTHING that could be used as a weapon will serve 17 to 22 years, end of freedon for that slime ball.
    Remember O.J.? didn’t use a gun did he. I rest my case.

    1. ben405 retort says:

      You know nothing, ben405. Prosecutors don’t bother with criminals they have to catch anymore. They only prosecute cases that fall in their lap, and they don’t care whether they did it and they don’t want to go through the work to take them to trial. So they offer a plea for one small charge, or a trial with 50 severe charges. A law like this would crash the entire “justice” system, because everyone would go to trial. On top of it, they’d tack this charge on to every other conviction. If you were falsely accused of embezzeling money they’d claim you used a weapon called a car and you drove it to work.

  25. irongodzilla says:

    i would that all of you google the freedom group, and its ceo and his political affiliation and whom he has donated money to for election

  26. Mimi says:

    Didn’t anyone inform the U.S. citizens that the anti-gun fanatics agree with certain anti-gun government sectors and that the removal of guns is being done so the people will have nothing to distract them away from hailing their leaders? Come on, you can’t have a regime without full co-operation. Slowly but surely the government is showing it’s true colors and they are going to need all of the x-ray machines and technology that they can get their hands on. It’s a little funny that a good many individual portions of the government are being joined together, similar to what the German government did before the U.S. went in and destroyed the Reich. Unification and snooping, it’s what’s good for the community. And, like the Prezident said one time, “Do not try to fight us on this.” That was during his discussion about the new health care bill. That kind of sounded like what a dictator would say Who knew that he would just start to take over and create an unrecognizable government, sort of like it was in Nazi Germany. I wonder…when I heard him state that the U.S. is no longer a Christian nation, did he mean that they are Muslim or Nazi or what. I think his mind was already made up but…I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

  27. Van Wehrle says:

    The police commissioner and politicians in support of this must think their canned phrases like “it will only be uses for this” somehow must erase all of government abuse and over-reach on everything they pass.

    This would be abused like everything else they do. Never believe them when they say it’s for your safety.

  28. jgrant3 says:

    There are numerous examples of oppressive governments in the last century, many of which were responsible for the murders of more of their own citizens than all the terrorists and criminals throughout history. Mao’s China, Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, etc. The bigger our government gets, the harder it becomes to change it. Also, the more powerful it gets, the harder it becomes to change it. With a government as big and powerful as ours, what will happen when we make the mistake of electing a Hitler wannabee?

  29. Thomas says:

    Americans deserve the police state. Their ignorance combined with the public servant’s ignorance of the Constitution they are sworn to defend makes a perfect recipe for sheep to be led to slaughter.The founding fathers are all surely rolling in their graves at seeing the gross incompetence of the people in this country. I know most Americans know better, at least all the Americans over 40. Why is it the young ones are the only ones marching in the streets (for all the wrong reasons)? I never thought it would possible for me to live to see the day Americans let their government trample all over their rights for the illusion of safety from a non-existent enemy. As I have said since that fateful day and is now fully endorsed by over 1500 highly credentialed Architects and Engineers for 911 truth (AE911Truth.org), the three buildings in New York that came down that day were all demolished with explosives, not by some planes loaded with jet fuel. Many Americans don’t even know that three buildings came down that day. They believe America is exceptional and could never be subverted like so many other empires in history, they allow this charade of lies to continue simply because they are too frightened to face the truth about America. People, we have been taken over by a den of wolves. These wolves would just as soon see you and your Constitution DEAD and have very nearly succeeded. I don’t know who makes me more sick, the wolves or the American people.

  30. LTC_Ray_Burke says:

    Freedom vs security. Like oil and water, they don’t mix. The armed authorities never seem to be around when they are neeeded. Be prepared to take the responsibility for your own safety. I come down on the side of maximum personal freedom. The vast majority of sheeple are incapable of defending themselves. Pity.

  31. Lib R' Guns says:

    Ever hear of a little concept called UNREASONABLE (i.e. random) search?

  32. fritz von says:

    Will the ACLU bring your child back to life after he’s killed by a gun that could have been removed from the street?

  33. Hugh Davis says:

    Fundamental violation of two parts of the constitution with one law. Nice. They are going for efficiency in trammeling wha tlitle rights we have left.

  34. Vic Livingston says:

    This technology uses radio frequencies that are HARMFUL TO HUMAN HEALTH — just like the airport scanners, and the covert cell tower electromagnetic scalar microwave radio frequency directed energy weapon system (U.S. Patent 7629918, Raytheon) that is being heinously used to silently torture, subjugate, impair and harm American citizens who have been extra-legally targeted as “dissidents” or undesirables. Please read this veteran journalist’s article, first published two years ago and unchallenged by any corporate or government official:


    Let me add that the last time I tried to post a comment here, I got a message stating the comment was “awaiting moderation” when all other comments from others seemed to post immediately. So if this comment does not appear, it’s probably been “disappeared” by a military contractor censorship regime run under USG contract.

  35. constitutionloveryo says:

    do you think Thomas Jefferson or any of the Founding Fathers would approve??? of course not!…now, Homeland Security and our Police State would consider them ALL DOMESTIC TERRORISTS. oh, and you to if you like them and freedom.

  36. Sandy Daniels says:


  37. Dawn says:

    “Shall not be Infringed” means no CCW should be necessary to carry anywhere in the USA except posted private property.

    The constitution does not restrict the right to only inside your left pocket and only if the government says its okay and only if you have a piece of paper saying it is okay taped to your weapon.
    Get with it folks your government is no longer protecting your freedom but rather usurping power and subverting the Constitution

    1. blips says:

      Neither is it restricted to GUNS. I choose to carry a saber, but you are welcome to nuclear grenades if you choose.

  38. Michael McDonnel says:

    F+++ NEW YORK!

  39. Jim says:

    Definitely unConstitutional as an invasion of privacy, as well as its use to detect firearms, let alone used in any kind of procedings against the carrier, licensed or not.
    Just more Stazi State machinery that would curl Orwell’s toes.
    Since the politicians are so adamant about taking away firearms, let it begin with them and the Stazi.

  40. Jim Card says:

    Creeping tyranny in the name of a good cause. Do not expect “public servants” to stop serving themselves with all the electronic surveillance weapons they can put into their arsenal under the guise of public safety. And with politicians requiring castration before taking office, you can expect no opposition from them.

  41. Snaggle-Tooth Jones says:

    This is Tree of Liberty stuff.

  42. ProFromDover says:

    Works for me. It’s one thing to keep some firepower at home to protect the hearth. But, if you don’t have a CCW permit, you’ve no busiiness packing in public.

  43. John Jr says:

    Yeah, they’re taking away all of my rights and relegating me to pleb status, but at least I’ll be safe!

  44. DAWN says:

    We didn’t trade freedom for security, our leaders have, the people have not, at least the ones who do not declare themselves dems or Obummerites, or socialists, or anarchists, or communists, or muslim, or islamist, or Chinese, or Mexican, or Gay or Lesbians, or atheist. Gen X, Gen Y, welfare recipients, and college students,

    Darn that leaves only the Bible huggin, gun totin, middle-aged white guys from western Pennsylvania. FREEDOM IS GONE, BRING ON THE ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.

  45. Ken says:

    It’s just one power-grab after another with our government! Unconstitutional. Not only will government not keep you safe, if left to its own devices it will make you much less safe! Government get the hell out of our lives now! The more law abiding people that carry guns the less crime there is which has been demonstrated time and time again!

  46. Cory says:

    Exactly…as soon as you have be desensitized to this, newest intrusion on
    your rights and freedoms we’ll move on to the next one. “well, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care if a responsible government operative frisks you each and every day before work” COME ON PEOPLE, anyone who approves of this or any other program of it’s type is an absolute IDIOT.
    the men who fought and died for the freedoms we have (had) are rolling in their graves.

  47. Dawn says:

    State Tyranny pure and simple. What right has the State to arbitrarily subject citizens to terahertz radiation without the permission of the individuals. This is tyranny pure and simple

  48. Sandy Daniels says:

    Dad used to call em dummy crats

  49. ar15 says:

    They’re bringing all this stuff out now because when the SHTF on November 6, 2012 folks are gonna be expressing their 2nd Amendment rights like we’ve never seen in our lifetimes.

  50. Sandy Daniels says:

    The difference between a “slave or subject” and a “citizen” is a firearm and knowledge of good and evil. The wise choose “good”

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