The latest buzz is that the NYDP is testing new body scanners that will allow New York’s Finest to stay in their cars and scan people for weapons using something called terahertz wave scanners. Why? Common sense gun control, of course. They claim it will help them locate illegal guns on people from as far away seventy-five feet, stop and detain them and get guns off the street. They say it’ll also cut their stop-and-frisk numbers by 500,000 per year! Sounds great right? Well, not so much…
I totally disagree with NYC and their gun laws. And this technology brings a whole new meaning to illegal search and seizure. What happens when these scanners make their way to places like Arizona where there is constitutional carry, or even to my home state of Washington State? Do I now run the risk while legally carrying that I am going to be searched without cause, stopped at gun point all so the cop can find out if I am a felon and if I am carrying my firearm legally?
This is preposterous. Not to mention unconstitutional. I’m afforded a right against illegal search and seizure, and the courts here have already ruled that the mere presence of a weapon does not give law enforcement reasonable suspicion to conduct a Terry stop. Many other states out there have similar rulings. Then again, I open carry, and have for years. It would no doubt come as quite a surprise to New York’s overlords that just because I carry a weapon, it doesn’t make me a bad guy. Or a target for law enforcement.
But, thanks to the new scanners, citizens of NYC who can legally posses a firearm will have to endure constant harassment, being held at gun point and the remote possibility of an officer shooting them. Any time a gun’s pointed at you, you run the risk of being shot. Especially when that someone is a police officer. NYPD already leads the nation in stop-and-frisks with about 600,000 per year.
That’s bad enough in and of itself. Now that they can violate your rights from across the street without you even knowing it, law-abiders won’t have so much as the officers’ names for any kind of recourse. At least with a stop-and-frisk there is a log of it happening (well, there should be) and you can get the names of the officers who stopped you to file a complaint with their precinct or seek a remedy in the courts later.
The idea that Americans are subjects and that the police can do whatever they want is a step too far. What will happen if the senate does pass HB822 passes and Obama decides to sign the bill into law? If and when it goes into effect, I’ll be able carry in all 50 states with my Washington State CPL. By going to New York will I have to give up some of my rights because I am following the law? Will I be subjected to their police state practices and treated like a criminal just because I am legally carrying a firearm?
Unannounced searches – of which the subject isn’t even aware – is about as Big Borther-ish and troublesome as it gets. So far, at least. I’m looking forward to the inevitable announcement from SAF or Alan Gura that they’re representing someone whose rights have been violated to try to outlaw the practice. Let’s just hope that they’re not also representing the victim’s family in a wrongful death suit.