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.

29 Responses to A New ‘Wave’ of Constitutional Rights Violations

  1. This is an extension of the airport scanner, which I said from the very beginning should have been outlawed once and for all. Funny, Israel doesn’t seem to need them.

    Consider the advancements in this technology 10, 15, 20 years from now. They are no longer these large expensive machines we see today. They are the size of a laptop and a web cam. Instead of low-resolution, monochrome images, they render HD images in color of everything someone is wearing and what they are carrying on their person. They can be tuned to penetrate materials of varying density from metal to flesh and bone, as needed.

    And because of the reduced cost, they are not just at airports. They are at every entrance to a rail station, every public building and on ever bus. They are everywhere and connected to a master face-recognition data base. The only limitation is terabytes and there will be no shortage of terabytes.

    Everyone in the world will know where everyone else is at every moment, on demand, what they are wearing, carrying and where they have been with bread crumbs on Google Earth.

    • Israel doesn’t need scanners because airport security isn’t a federal babysitting job there. Folks are taught to read the crowd.

      TSA employees usually come from the shallow end of the gene pool and/or certain low-IQ demographics. Expensive tech is a way to mitigate these deficiencies.

    • I’m a big fan of Israel’s method (having flown through Tel Aviv in the past), but one fundamental problem is that the number of people who fly to and from Israel is a very small percentage of the overall traffic passing through the big American airports such as Atlanta, Chicago, and New York everyday. I’m not sure if the Israeli model would scale. Not saying it wouldn’t but it seems today that “follow the Israeli model” is a pat answer to the problems facing American airports. I’m just not sure it is that simple. I take a different approach – I drive or take a train whenever possible and avoid airlines as much as I can.

  2. Your worried about illegal search, guess what once their done they’ll indefinitely detain you. Ndaa is much more of a threat to us as a people

  3. I though for sure that airport scanners would be the last straw. That after something so Orwellian people would start to worry, public opinion would sway radically, and law makers would be forced to start slowing down or reversing Big Brother. I apparently was wrong.

    • Because people are morons. I had dinner with some relatives of my girlfriend the other week and her aunt was making a big deal about how “When the line backs up at the airport they start randomly scanning people instead of everyone and of course they ALWAYS get the activist one who refuses to be x-rayed”. I was tempted to point out that if morons like her simply refused to fly as long as the TSA exists, the airlines would go bankrupt in just a few weeks and the TSA would vanish instantly.

  4. As I mentioned on the other post about this– warrantless FLIR searches against property was ruled unconstitutional by the SCOTUS. It is next to impossible that a similar ruling would not come down on warrantless tHz scanning at the first legal challenge.

    • Didn’t SCOTUS rule that any form of ACTIVE search such as a laser listening device, FLIR or anything of those natures was unconstitutional? I am not sure so i will do some checking. If that’s the case then this would also be considered ACTIVE and therefor unconstitutional.

  5. There’s no doubt this new bit of “common sense” will lead to legal challenges and constitutional worries.

    Here’s the problem.

    What good is a legal challenge when the powers that be don’t care about the Constitution? One more wrong judge in the SCOTUS and all the legal challenges in the world won’t do a damn thing. Certainly no one in the NYC board of tyrants gives a damn about the Constitution, so what do they care if it’s brought up? Perhaps it’s time for people to argue against Constitutional breaches with with more than their mouths and easily-ignorable gestures.

    • +1 The problem with legal challenges within the system is that it is assumed that all parties follow the law and abide by legal decisions. When one of the parties regularly ignores established law how can the other, law abiding party ever hope to win? This is what we saw in Chicago after McDonald, in Washington after Heller, and on a regular basis in California. I am quickly becoming a fan of some more progressive bloggers like Mike Vanderbeogh and others.

  6. It’s easy to image the picture above of Raymond Kelly wearing a black uniform, jack boots, and a cap with the Gestapo insignia on it.

    • What we need is government control. A simple (if they would actually enforce it – HA) amendment that says any politician who proposes a law that violates the Constitution will be imprisoned for 25 years with the sentence carried out by the end of the day would fix things pretty quickly.

  7. One thing in addition when they do find a person carrying, these won’t be calm casual stops to search and interview the subject, they will go out there with guns drawn. That can be deadly. Doesn’t NYPD have a history of not handling those situations well? I know Glock makes a heavy trigger just for them.

    And what about false positives? Will the scanner operator be able to tell the difference between and iPhone and a small gun? What about a pacemaker or other medical devices?

    • Yeah, I can see this being a really smooth operation. The cops will probably be shooting all sorts of people on this one.

  8. Radiation-blocking cloth is available. Buy some now before it gets really expensive.

    I’d post a link but I rarely do that for commercial operations. Google “radiation blocking material” if you want to know more.

  9. The other thing to consider about T-hertz waves are the Health risks. These wave was been found to “Un-zip” DNA and cause air bubbles that disrupt Gene expression- scary. These jerks want to BLAST the unknowing public with dangerous waves anytime they want??!! This is CRAZY! Where is the common sense here?

    Check out the link: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24331/

    Article called: How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart DNA

  10. I checked out the video of this technology in action that was posted as part of the Shot Show coverage. From the video, it seems to me that the technology would only be effective if the firearm was carried on the side of the body facing the scanner. The scanner is looking for gaps in the terahertz radiation signature and if you had a gun on the opposite side of your body, it would not generate the return they are looking for. The only way to get the complete picture would be a portal system that could scan all sides of the body at the same time.

  11. ” I’m looking forward to the inevitable announcement from SAF or Alan Gura that they’re representing someone whose rights have been violated…”

    Don’t hold your breath. SAF and Gura are too busy losing concealed carry lawsuits. Apparently, Gura missed the part in the Heller decision where it said that Open Carry is the lawful manner of carry in public. In California, Gura and the SAF went so far as to say that states may ban Open Carry. Fortunately, the Federal judge didn’t buy it.

    http://CaliforniaRightToCarry.org

    • You’ll only go against fascism when you perceive a chance it will come back and hit you instead of the people you hold unreasonable hatred for. Except that it will always have unintended consequences no matter the perceptions of the fascists that impose them.

  12. “Remote” possibility of being shot by an officer? Maybe you have a remote possibility of being shot by the NYPD, if you are 50 miles or more from the NYC city limits. Within it, you don’t even have to be carrying for the possibility to be slightly more than remote.

  13. Couldn’t they just make guns that emit a small amount of radiation — the same amount that a normal body would emit? Then it would just look like skin. Or maybe a holster that resembles the properties of your body to mask the gun.

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