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. …

Comments (427)
  1. Brian says:

    @ Phil: Zeig Heil!

  2. Al Izzy says:

    Hey Phil, looks like you are nothing more then anti-constitution… Why don’t you violate another one of your constitution and don’t speak “freely”. Coward.

  3. Juan Pablo says:

    WOW….are you Canadian?

  4. Bucko says:

    Phil — assuming you’re serious and not putting up deliberate parody, then there should be a “special little island” for people like you to live, where you can have the minions of ruling-class bureaucrats constantly sniffing you and groping you and sticking gloved hands up your rear exit “for your own safety” — so you can then feel warm and secure.

    Just don’t expect the rest of us — those with a shred of spirit and dignity — to go along for the ride.

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin

    1. effyu says:

      This is such an island. Its called Manhattan.

  5. Mark D. says:

    @ Phil – You are a disgusting excuse of an American citizen! Just because YOU say that the SCOTUS says it’s “..perfectly legal and appropriate…” DOES NOT make it so! So, this instantly passes the muster because you liken it to a “…canine free-air search…”, huh? Don’t ever dare tell me where I can or cannot go just because I disagree with the LOCAL ordinances! ANY state/local law is only legal IF it is Constitutional – which this is NOT. I wish no ill will for any one man, but you are nominating yourself as being the first – Congratulations Phil!
    Domari Nolo †

  6. LennyC says:

    This is worse than a TSA scan. At least with TSA you know its being done.

    1. Aaron says:

      Not only do you know it’s being done with the TSA, but you do so consensually. If you don’t want it done you can opt out and do a manual pat down, and if you opt out of that you can choose not to fly. Can we choose not to walk down the street?

    2. Dude says:

      Incidentally, Homeland Security already has trucks/vans that have similar, but larger scanners on board. They can scan the contents of an entire vehicle without your even knowing it. Think it sounds crazy? Look it up.

  7. Jim Macklin says:

    “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.”
    Even in NYC, there are many people with a license to carry. Shooting prone prone location sounds like racial profiling.
    The white guy in a Tux won’t be stopped, the U.N. Diplomat won’t be stopped, just the tacky dressed black guy. Looks like fun and a waste of time to satisfy Mayor Bloomberg’s hate and fear of guns.
    They need it in Chicago, too! Maybe soon the politicians will see that crime is down and except for Illinois, it is legal in every state to carry a gun and/or a knife. A license isn’t even required in many states, such as Vermont which has the lowest crime rate.

    1. Dude says:

      In New Hampshire, you just stop in the local police station, fill out a form, come back in a couple of days with $10. They tear off a carbon copy piece of paper that is your permit to carry. Had a nice chat with our local cops while I was in there. Unless you’re a felon, that’s all there is to it.

      Oh, but it’s so violent up here! You can’t go anywhere without a shootout occurring. It’s like an episode of Bonanza every time you go to buy groceries.

  8. bob says:

    you are the dumbasses that choose to live there………..

    1. Ben Enjerry says:

      That’s a great response.

  9. Bukkiah Golden says:

    Because the stop and frisk program was an abysmal failure both of stopping crime and civil rights NYC has figured it just haven’t violated enough civil rights to make its people “safe”.

    Anyone that gives up freedom for security will have, and deserves neither.
    Anyone that would give up someone else’s freedom should have their own taken from them.

  10. libertarian one says:

    Another example of three steps forward, two steps back. Pretty soon we will all find ourselves living in a third world dictatorship with no freedoms and we will wonder how this happened. It happened by “them” moving three steps forward and two steps back

  11. Jon says:

    Big Bro—–Next, Gulags!!!!!

    1. Baldy Kirby from Atlanta says:


      Don’t worry about “Big Bro”:

      It’s BIG SIS you have to worry about!

      Janet will wack yur pee-pee!

    2. Michael Sievers says:

      They are called FEMA camps. And I will not go quietly.

  12. jared says:

    How the heck is it a war against illegal guns? What’s next – illegal speech? There goes the Bill of Rights.

    1. Notme says:

      Umm.. You should really google “Free speech zones”.. Your way out of date with the “whats next -” statement..

  13. Patriot says:

    Soo. anyone with a conceal carry are going to be hastled constantly?

    1. Joe Doakes says:

      Yup. They want your gun. In NYC they shoot their own to get it. Act accordingly, and carefully.

    2. Al Izzy says:

      It would be nice to see a million man march carrying side arms down the streets of NYC. The cops would coward…. Someone from NYC,,,, please get a hold of NRA or GOA and file lawsuit against the city illegal gun ban (since the Supremem Court ruling you have a right to have a firearm in your home)…

  14. Alan Whitney says:

    Clearly, this violates the 4th Amendment. There is something called the “Plain sight doctrine.”

    “Seeing” something with a device that penetrates clothing is clearly beyond the pale.

    Any politician or police officer who would even CONSIDER this needs to be sacked.

    1. Mark D. says:

      How DARE you question their authority. Don’t worry, DHS will be at your home for a visit soon. 😉

    2. Heartland Patriot says:

      I agree, this is a MASSIVE lawsuit waiting to happen…not in NYC, of course, since King Bloomberg brooks no argument from his subjects…but as soon as they take this stuff elsewhere, litigation time!

  15. Bucko says:

    I think our so-called “leaders” are what’s illegal, as they are constantly shredding the US Constitution and US Bill of Rights in their mad dash to set up an Orwellian police state complete with check points to keep “the rabble” in line like good little dispirited dehumanized sheep.

    1. Jukey says:

      If you don’t like this, vote for the GOP candidate who is against this type of thing.

      You know who it is.

      1. GunnerLee says:

        Yeah…..GO RON PAUL!!!!

      2. Mr.Dude says:

        Be careful… GOP are no more trustworthy in my humble opinion. Do your homework before voting for _anyone_. It’s really dangerous to vote for any candidate on the basis that he’s “not that guy.”

  16. Edddie says:

    Nothing is free in America! Especially, US Citizens! Eddie Thomas

  17. TC says:

    This is ridiculous. This is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. At what point did we surrender our CITIZEN rights against illegal search and seizure ? This is a violation of our civil liberties, if they start mucking around with this. . .

  18. nygrump says:

    nypd considers a pocket knife a concealed weapon. This is not reasonable or american. The nazis were imported here by Dulles et al after WW2 and this is where we are. Send kelly and Boozberg to North Korea where they’d fit in.

    1. Steve says:

      NYPD, why do you insist on ripping apart the Constitution?? You people have way TOO MUCH power for a CIVILIAN police dept. Your NOT a military organization!! You are to serve and PROTECT the PEOPLE. Although it’s not surprising considering NY voted consistantly against the Declaration of Independence being ratified during the 1st and 2nd Continental Congress as well as NJ. I see some things never change. I’m sooo glad I moved out of that S*IT HOLE……..

    2. Heartland Patriot says:

      It’s not Nazis you have to worry about…its socialists of another sort…but remember, SOME are more equal than others…especially mighty, wise leaders like Dear Leader Bloomberg.

  19. EasyToDefeat says:

    This is too easy to defeat. Tinfoil (metallic cloth) underwear will become the gang-banger fashion trend. The machine won’t see anything under the tinfoil. I’ll start selling them on eBay as soon as this technology hits the streets.

    1. bikertrash says:

      this is going to get a lot of cops killed when they try to stop homey on the street and check him for a gun,and a lot of lawsuits when they try to frisk grandpa’s colostomy bag.

    2. Dude says:

      Metal underbritches… you’ll look super. (thanks for asking)

      It’d be interesting to find out if it would actually work as a countermeasure.

  20. David from San Diego says:

    So did I miss it when they repealed the Constitution?

    1. David from San Diego says:

      You know, the part that says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?

      1. Juna says:

        And the part about the right against illegal search and seizure.

      2. Al Izzy says:

        The criminals from NYC justice don’t believe in the U.S. Constitution. Someone needs to take them to court and just take it up from there. The city is violating the U.S. Supreme Court ruling…

      3. John.Mason.011 says:

        Yup. Happened November 4, 2008.

    2. Juna says:

      This is an outrage. Yet another desecration of the Constitution. Totally ridiculous. This eliminates the necessary steps to undergo a search. All it takes is an non-consented-to scan to find something and all of the sudden they can search you for real when in reality they would have had no probable cause without this right-infringing device!

  21. Justme says:

    This is why it’s time for the sheep get off the football field and start getting active in the process.. I have two words that will stop all this nonsense..

    Ron Paul!

    1. Mejust says:

      I have two words as well: Nut… Job…

      1. Juna says:

        Keep thinking that as you get virtual strip-searched in the airport and walking down the street with predator drones flying overhead to do “police work.” Just hope you’re not one of the unluckily accused who can be detained indefinitely as an enemy combatant without proof, attorney, or right to a trial.

      2. Jacob says:

        I have two words as well: wake… up…

      3. lonefoosballer says:

        You should read his book Revolution. Then come back and tell me he is a nut job.
        All his opinions and beliefs are rational and thoughtful. So right off the bat, I can tell you have little in common with him.

        1. Dude says:

          ALL his opinions? Are all your opinions rational? Mine sure aren’t.

          Believe me, I like a lot of what RP has to say (most of it, actually) but to characterize him as darned near infallible is very dangerous.

      4. Justme says:

        Nut Job? I know.. He really is a nut job.. All krazy and stuff talking about freedoms and small government.. Don’t worry.. He’ll get his when the FEMA camps kickoff. They will haul him off to Gitmo.. All these nut jobs.. Thinking they are free or something.. Hmm.. Let me see.. NDAA, HR 3166, SOPA, PIPA and many more that I can’t think of right now..

        So dear sheepals.. Just keep on sipping the fluorides, voting for all these tyrants and whatknot.. Your time will be coming. Don’t say that you where not warned.

        Give me a NUTJOB any day of the week over the tyrannical crap we are facing all day everyday. You suckers need to extricate your heads from your arses and realize that your neck in already on the chopping block. Whether you choose to ignore it or not.

        1. Al Izzy says:

          Justme::: I guess you that type of person that will not use common sense and vote along with the group that you think will win, just to say that you voted for that person. Why not pick Perry (He looks and acts like a puppet). Why not Ging (you can tell he is paid off). Why not Mitt (Another paid off puppet in a suit). Sanatation guy (no body, and always attacking Paul). Ron Paul comes out with what the problem is, and what the solution is… But people like you don’t want to admit there is a problem. So, go live in your fantasy land, and one day when you wake up and say “Oh $hit”, it will be too late…

          1. Al Izzy says:

            JUST ME: Sorry, was not intended towards your comments, was for that jackass.

  22. Tom says:

    Unfortunately Robert McDougall misses the big picture. Regardless of whether anyone has “anything to hide” or not, the freedom to be secure in one’s person, papers and effects is supreme and no citizen is to be subjected to an unreasonable search unless presented with precise articulable probable cause, or with a warrant issued by a competent court. Anything else is done without satisfying these criteria is simply an unconstitutional fishing trip.

  23. John Duttingly says:

    If this goes into effect, my guns will be pointed at the sons of bitches who have never read the goddamn constitution!

    1. lowcountry jim says:

      Careful bro. I know what you said you didnt mean literally but, most government types tend to overreact to off the cuff remarks

  24. Bo Jiden says:

    So start a new industry: Dummy guns — some sort of thin, lightweight gun-shaped metal silhouette that shows up on the scan. Patriotic folks could pack them around and then push back legally when they get an unlawful search.

    1. Secret Asian Man says:

      Gotta be careful. The law protects trigger-happy cops who accidentally shoot kids with toy guns. To willfully pack a gun-shaped object and enter a high risk environment where these scanners are likely to be employed could be asking for trouble. But if you intend to be a martyr and lead the patriotic revolution, go right ahead and thanks for your sacrifice!

  25. nycboy says:

    Carrying illegally?

    1. mamawati says:

      They have made sure everyone who carries is ” illegally” carrying by not permitting anyone to carry except the rich and famous and the well connected. Your statement misses the point of “free” in freedoms… and the Second Amendment. Write back after you ahve applied for and been denied a permit to carry legally.

      1. Mr.Dude says:

        Apparently nycboy has no clue of how ridiculously difficult it is to be “Legal” in the City. Heck, you can’t even drive through the City with a locked weapon in your trunk, for fear they’ll throw you in jail for a minimum mandatory sentence of three years.

        Oh, and those who commit crimes still have rights, nycboy. Read the constitution.

        Glad I live up here where anyone can carry.

    2. Jim says:

      Check the 2nd Amendment !

    3. sscomment says:

      How do you know who is what, though?

    4. Heartland Patriot says:

      So sayeth you as you bow to your “Dear Leader” and the glorious, all-mighty socialist nanny state…

  26. scott says:

    Probably could be defeated by wearing a mylar liner under a jacket or materials with aluminum woven in, like those used for skiing.

    1. Bo Jiden says:

      Whoops. Looks like you beat me to it.

  27. J says:

    The problem with this is that it doesn’t discriminate between the legal and illegal gun carriers. But this sure is an invasion of privacy. You have to be from space not to think so.

  28. jharry3 says:

    Of course it violates our civll liberties. Just like the TSA does thousands of times a day!

  29. Josh Biggs says:

    Those that would trade freedom for security deserve neither.

  30. Drew W. Smith says:

    This is a breach of the fourth amendment. Scanning someone’s body is an unreasonable search.

  31. susystin says:

    This country has the right to bare arms. End of discussion. NY is breaking the law and Consitution. Of course, they break them all the time now so who’s going to stop all this.

  32. JC says:

    New York City, GO TO HELL! Illegal guns? Is the government not constrained against taking away your right to bear a weapon? And who said the state can take away your natural God given right to protect your self.

  33. Sig Sauer says:

    Setting aside NYC gun laws, this is just another reason not to ever visit NYC

  34. West4Ever says:

    I live in Wyoming. Here, you can carry openly so this device would be entirely useless. Last time I went to the bank the guy ahead of me had a pistol on his hip. Just a regular bank customer, known to the bank, chatted with me and the teller. What do you think would have happened if he had walked in to a bank like that in New York?

    1. Sig Sauer says:

      West4Ever, check out the story about the lady from Tennessee or the Marine who’s plan landed in NYC. We live in Ohio and I too stop at my bank, grocery store, barbershop with my Sig on my hip. which by the way is the safest place to keep your firearm

      1. Howard Redder says:

        i love my sig p239 .40 cal..its the only gun i will ever own and trust

    2. RH says:

      You are a lucky man, any jobs out there?

      1. West4Ever says:

        Lots in the oil, natural gas and coal industries. Miners, mechanics, drivers, engineers, heavy equipment contractors… they’re all in high demand. Cost of living is low too. And no income tax.

    3. baneberrygirl says:

      He would have been arrested as a “domestic terrorist”..

  35. Derby Cap says:

    I’m going to design clothing that hides body heat, a complete blackout except head and hands.

  36. Jimmy Walker says:

    It is another step in away of our right to privacy, which is natural right. As B. Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  37. Mark Matis says:

    Time to blow some pig heads off for dishonoring their oath of office.

    1. John says:

      You are an idiot dude for making such a stupid comment. That isn’t a joke.

      1. Mark Matis says:

        And my comment was NOT a joke. “Law Enforcement” has taken an oath to the Constitution, but they spit on it every day. Making them not “Law Enforcement”, but instead Thugs with Guns.

        What do YOU do to a thug with a gun? Do you say “Here are my wife and daughter. I hope you enjoy raping them. Call me if they give you any trouble.” Or do you blow his head off?

  38. Troy Mclure says:

    boys become cops, Men serve in the military. nypd is nothing more than a bunch of ninja wannabes.

  39. George O. says:

    In 30 years, it’ll be 1984.

    1. Ray says:

      I,ll lower your 30 and give you 5 yrs,

      1. Pat Henry says:

        5 Years?? Check your calendar we are already 11 months, and holding, into 1984. I live in the People’s Repubic of Maryland, and it is almost as bad here. Leaving soon for a free state!! KEEP VOTING, FIGHT BACK!

        1. Mark Matis says:

          There ARE NO free states. The “Law Enforcement” in EVERY ONE OF THEM have spit on their oath to the Constitution. The honorable Law Enforcement officers in this country are pathetically few and far between. And EXCLUSIVELY in the very small departments.

          The stench is overwhelming. And it smells like pig.

  40. Ray says:

    just another sign as to how big brother is flushing “we the people” constitution down the toilet!

  41. Betsy Ross says:

    Just one more reason to never visit the Communist state of New York again.

    1. Humpy J. Brown says:

      Was there EVER a good reason?

      Rude people, beggars, urine stinking subways, and lunkheads who are all like “Ahm fum Noo Yawwwk, and you ain’ jaaaack.”

      1. Heartland Patriot says:

        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! That was AWESOME!

  42. Pete Rock says:

    I wonder… .does their little device detect bullets??? Specifically bullets coming back at a high rate of speed????

    You may not have my guns, but you can have everyone of my bullets!!!!


    1. Bill says:

      Pete Rock let’s add…et omni suus Deus damno volente servus to that Sis semper tyrannus

  43. Dutch says:

    What is it about the 2nd Amendment that these morons don’t understand? Wasn’t McDonald v. Chicago published in NYC?

    1. mamawati says:

      So few peopel are conversant with the foundations of our liberty it is frightening. The Bill of Rights is almost dead and we the people have allowed them to be taken away. We have traded false security for loss of liberty. We have become our own worst enemies.

    2. Ghost of Reagan says:

      Oh, they understand the 2nd Amendment alright, quite thoroughly in fact. It’s just that those people HATE it and what it represents… the means to empower the citizenry over an oppressive government. There’s an old bumper sticker slogan that I haven;t sen in a while, but will likely be coming back. It says “The Government that fears guns in the hands of its citizens, should.” This is why I fully support Rick Perry of Texas as President. He’s the most overtly pro-2nd Amendment candidate this nation has ever had in the last 100+ years, and because of that alone, I can easily overlook all the rest of his faults and screw-ups.

  44. Humpy J. Brown says:

    Nick, you may be wrong.

    Our bodies give off heat. If they use an infrared scanning technology, they’ll see a reddish blob as the totality of our body heat. The gun, being steel, will block that heat and show up as a dark blob on their device. Military has been using infrared for years. You can buy such a device yourself if you have a spare $10K or so.

    Police already use it to scan entire frame structures (and now even block structures, but that requires radiation) during “stand offs”, to see where the occupants are. They call it “lighting them up”, but it’s really nothing but an ultra-sensitive heat detector device.

    But I wouldn’t put it past them to use radiation. They’re already doing it to us at airports.

  45. Anthony Jordan says:

    2nd Amendment = gone…
    4th Amendment = gone…
    Enough said…

  46. Steve L says:

    Benjamin Franklin said: “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither”

  47. Andrei Bilderburger says:

    Time to enforce the second amendment and get rid of all the New York gun laws. Then this won’t be necessary.

  48. Jerry Penny says:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  49. ConcernedAmericans says:

    Further eroding the 4th Amendment. And so it begins.

  50. Nick says:

    There is NO energy given off by anything. These a-holes are planning to bombard the public with radiation in the name of “safety”. The Bloomberg Regime marches on.

    1. Nick says:

      Oh, now you fix your “news reporting” and say it’s body heat, not some mysterious “force”. And heat scans don’t work too well in day time or in crowds.

      1. Humpy J. Brown says:

        Are you talking to ME? Are YOU talking to ME? You must be talking to me, because I don’t see anyone else here——.

    2. karlthomas says:

      While I agree with you on the clear violation of privacy posed by this nonsense in the name of ‘safety’, I will also correct you on your assertion concerning energy.

      Energy can be given off by any object, be it from heat, sound, light, radiation, etc…
      In your second sentence, you acknowledge that the machines give off energy in the form of radiation.

      To sum all this up, energy can emit from any object, and many objects ‘give off’ energy constantly. One of the more obvious object to ‘give off’ energy is the sun(in the form of heat, radiation, and light).

      Energy can be visible or invisible when emitted from an object. In the daylight, a hunter can see his prey due to the light that is reflected from the animal’s hide. At night, hunters must rely on sound energy to locate prey….though sound can be difficult to reconcile with shot placement. Therefore, we must turn to another non-visible energy…. heat energy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLp6DQjDjxw

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