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By James England via

Man-portable concealed carry detection devices are being designed by a team of Canadian and Ukrainian scientists for a recently funded U.N. project. The goal is to interrogate potential threats for firearms and other concealed weapons on their person without their permission. The CBC reported on the developments known as radar detection technology . . .

In a three-year project that launches this month, Natalia Nikolova, an electrical and computer engineering professor, will be working with researchers from Canada and Ukraine to design devices that use radar signals to analyze the materials carried by a person.

Previous prototypes of man-portable radar detection devices have only had a range of around 10 feet (about 3 meters). The U.N.’s goal is to develop a system that can detect a concealed firearm or weapon on a person from 50 feet away (15 meters).

The team of scientists assigned to this project are slated to begin next month. The project is expected to last three years. Current design has the detection device placed on a military vest or tripod.

The privacy concerns caused by many detection devices are minimal in this case, Natalia Nikolova, an electrical and computer engineering professor said, because the frequency range used isn’t high enough to generate an image of the person.

Nikolova said her designs are different from a full-body scanner seen at airport screening points, although both use radar technology. The scanner uses high frequency waves to generate an image and requires trained human operators to make a decision.

“In our case, it’s going to be a computer that is analyzing features in signals,” she said.

Similar Scanners Are Already Being Used By Law Enforcement

In January, USA Today covered the use of new police radars that bounce a signal through a house to detect for movement.

The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.

While these technologies seem to have a great purpose for uses like search and rescue, and anti-terrorism operations, there is also the room for these technologies to be abused.

There are even radar devices that can detect and scan a person’s irises from 40 feet away. As Discovery News reported back in April, this new technology allows law enforcement to identify a person registered in their databases.

From Discovery News

In the realm of law enforcement, iris recognition could be used to identify suspects at long range in various lighting conditions. The system can even be used to capture images through reflections in a mirror.

On the surface, all of these pieces of technology sound like tools used in either a sci-fi utopia or Orwellian dystopia. And with little to no studies done as to the long term effects of these technologies on people’s physiology, it’s left in the hands of legislators, judges, and law enforcement to decide the right application for each.

Will these technologies be used to regulate concealed carriers as they travel across state lines?

Imagine driving across the border into New Jersey and immediately being pulled over for having a perfectly legal unloaded handgun in your trunk.  Or wandering onto a University of Texas campus and happening to pass within a couple feet of a “gun free zone”.

These technologies all have great possibilities if used in the right context – but that context has not been realized, yet. And as the U.N. engages in its three year study of making a man-portable concealed weapon detection system, all concealed carriers are left in the unenviable position of wondering whether or not they could be targeted by such technologies in the not-too-distant future — on some level.

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  1. Did they wrongly teach the 4th amendment to me in middle school?

    This isn’t the same 4th amendment I remember…

    • To answer the question at hand, yeah, I’m pretty much ready. Do I want to go down that particular road, well, no, not really, not in the least actually. I’d much rather pursue my own selfish interests and leave my daughter sufficient assets that she may be able to pursue her own desires unencumbered. Though it doesn’t really look like that’s how it’s going to turn out. but she’s tough, resolute and largely unencumbered. So there’s that, at least.

    • You’re absolutely correct that this is a violation of the 4th Amendment. Ironically, a drug case that made it to the Supreme Court may be the saving grace. Provided they can interpret the ruling by the words and not the intent. Or not. The case,, basically stated that police could not use the FLIR technology to “search” a home. I remember an article where New York was testing the capability ( so, this really isn’t anything new. It’s just the latest salvo of solutions looking for a problem. It’s ironic that this is being done under the U.N. Don’t have to contend with those pesky “rights” in other parts of the world.

      • The trouble there is the courts have regularly interpreted the law to state that we have no expectation of privacy when in public. Even though the Constitution CLEARLY states “…and in their person…..” which means exactly what it says.

        They will make the argument that they can scan us all they want if we are in public places.

        What starts out as a ‘good’ idea for a ‘good’ purpose is quickly and easily twisted to oppress us. Any surprise this is being developed for the UN? This is an organization that has African nations where firing a gun in the air is still an acceptable form of celebration on “Gun Saftey” committees, and nations like Iran where women are treated like property on Women protection council’s.


        • Although I have my doubts as to how effective or easy to fool this tech would be, if your worried about t or other invasive issues from police ( and you should be). Let’s protest and vote as a block. I local elections to get them banned at tr local level. Even In Tx most city governments have referendum votes. I’d like a vote to make it illegal for cops to own that tech and illegal for cops to take grant money from uncle Sam for anything.

    • Like drone technology, the operator’s gotta sleep/eat sometime, you strike at the Empire, the Empire Strikes Back, you blow up the death star, kiss your sister, find Yoda, become a Jedi. Evil loses in the end.

    • Yeah, my favorite example was all the money Sony spent on that CD copy-protecting code they debuted to much fanfare, only to have a dude show the world how to defeat it with a magic marker soon after.

      I’m sure somebody is already researching a fabric liner material to defeat this radio frisking tech, and in a few years, concealed carry clothing may have a whole new meaning.

      • Such clothing already exists. Electric shield suits have aluminum or copper threads in the outer surface of the shirt and pants. Small leads clip the shirt to the pants and special shoes that pass all voltage to ground.

        It’s basically a wearable Faraday cage. No radar, RF, or radio waves with pass through this layer.

        The trick is too replicate this in more fashionable clothes…

      • Yeah but what do you think will happen when the unit “sees” a patch of blocking material? I’m pretty sure it’ll be interpreted just as if you saw the firearm.

        • Gun-shaped patch of blocking material. Then sue their asses from here to Kansas.

          • And make them out of an adhesive or velcro material so that you could surreptitiously attach them to peoples close as you bumped into them.

        • I was thinking along the lines of entire vests or jacket liners with blocking material, pants with knees-up liner to hide pocket and IWB contents, fully lined backpacks, purses, briefcases, etc. It might be a red flag that someone is potentially trying to hide something, but in theory that would be less of a probable cause excuse for further search or detention by police than a ‘positive gun detection’, especially if the material tech caught on and became popular with a variety of privacy-minded consumers for reasons other than guns.

        • On second thought, pants lining probably wouldn’t be very comfortable unless it was some mighty thin and flexible material, not to mention breathable.

  2. That “see-inside-your-house” radar reported by USA Today is made by L3…. as in EOTech….

    • It’s already being put through trials with the military. It’s extremely useful in clearing unknown structures of hostile forces.

      If it filters down the chain to local LEOs, like all the rest of the military equipment is, this will become highly disputed in its use.

      If it does make it into common use, I see a future in home renovations. People will install Faraday cage walls and cellular phone amplifiers with external antennas. These will prevent side penetration of the radar systems. Add a ceiling piece and you have total protection, even from aerial drones.

      • As a handyman, I can envision several ways to turn a house into a Faraday cage. It would be easy to manufacture siding with the cage built in, connecting as the pieces were clipped together. Houses these days are built with a serious moisture barrier material; that, too, could easily be manufactured to make the cage. For retrofitting, paneling or wallpaper could be manufactured similarly to the siding or moisture barrier. More directly, the necessary mesh.screen could be applied to existing walls, then covered with a thin layer of ‘mud’ and paint applied.

        For those truly dedicated to being thorough, line cabinets, interior walls and floors, storage chests….

        BTW, processors are fast enough these days that any radar signal can be analyzed and a counter-wave emitted which cancels the incoming radar, leaving…dead silence, no return at all. That’s a more high-tech approach.

        It happens that I’m replacing a bunch of house siding this summer. Maybe I should go ahead and make that wall opaque to radar!

        • I’m thinking of a simpler approach: just a jammer in something about 1″ cubed or smaller, running off a watch battery. Just overwhelm the front end of the radar receiver and be done with it.

        • IN GENERAL in the USA, receiving a transmitted signal is fine (excepting decrypting encrypted transmissions like satellite TV).

          Transmitting to block reception can get you in very hot water.

          Proceed at your own risk.

        • While we’re here; non-metallic land mines in your driveway go a long way to preventing the arrival…

          If government has a thing, government will abuse and violate citizens with that thing. It’s what they do… This isn’t really a conversation.

          From the pointy stick all the way up to guns.

          This isn’t about the fact that “Government will do something evil with [fill in the blank].”

          This is merely an extension, as is everything, of “Government will do something evil.” It doesn’t matter what object they have. It’s the nature of government to be and do evil no matter what they’ve got.

    • I read about L3 when it first came out. If your house has metal siding, it blocks it. There’s a couple of other things that block it but I don’t remember what. I’m not too worried about the cops scanning my house looking for me. Just don’t stand in front of a window. Glass doesn’t block it.

  3. I guess they will have to develop a new body carried Fuzzbuster radar detector. When it goes off, you can look around for the douche zapping you and stand there and give him the middle finger.
    That should make the initial contact not nearly as much fun them.
    He’s got a gun and he’s giving us the finger. Damn it.

    • ^Like…but Fuzzbusters were terrible. Super Snoopers ruled the roost until Escort came along. I could drive as fast as my car would go and slow down in time, thanks to the Escort. But instant-on and a higher speed limit ended all the fun.

      • Yeah, I said Fuzzbuster just for the fun of it. I actually had one. Black box with a big HAL time light on it. They worked, but that was the days of high powered X band. The thing was go off a long way away. Then came lower power K and KA bans and then laser.
        I just don’t drive fast anymore. I just hate getting tickets.

        • God I hate this site that won’t even let me edit my comment as soon as I post it. I saw errors and my option to edit wasn’t there
          Yeah, I said Fuzzbuster just for the fun of it. I actually had one. Black box with a big HAL TYPE light on it. They worked, but that was the days of high powered X band. The thing would go off a long way away, but then came lower power K and KA BANDS and then laser.
          I just don’t drive fast anymore. I just hate getting tickets and having to deal with snotty cops.

          God this site SUCKS at times.

        • Edit is quite random for me.
          Might have 2 minutes one time, 6 minutes the next.
          It might not even offer me edit, then edit appears when I reload.
          The countdown timer might show 5 minutes remaining, but then it tells me time has expired when I click the edit button, but reloading may or may not fix it.

  4. So theoretically, a person could be searched from afar without their ever being aware. I smell unconstitutional all over this. One thing is people being subject to search and seizure because they enter a “sterile” area. A person being subjected to the same on the whim of an officer from a patrol car, without any reasonable suspicion, opens up a whole new can of worms. Picture it being provided to a police force like NYC notorious for unprovoked stops of minorities (“Hey what you breaking my balls for….He lit up…”)… WOW. The potential misuse of a technology like this, if achieved…….Is pretty much a done deal, given the history of this fine nation.

    • If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that our constitution is more a set of guidelines than actual rules, and can be interpreted in any number of ways depending on which set of ruling elites happen to be in power at the moment.

        • And if you insist that it actually means something, you’re an “anti-government nutter conspiracy-theorist right-wing radical terrorist ammosexual”.

          I think I’ve been called most of those things. Funny thing, Patriotism means something to me, and it’s not joining a fan fiction blog for historical-themed Mel Gibson movies.

  5. I’m not left wondering about anything. I’ll say with confidence that if the technology works, it will be used against U.S. citizens, and that constitutional constraints will not even be a consideration. Nothing any branch of our government has done lately gives me any reason to be reassured.

    All Orwell had wrong was the date.

    • We were far beyond Orwell’s vision in 1960. I think J. Edgar Hoover used “1984” as a blueprint of his regime.

  6. Sweet! You should hear the arguments I have with TSA. I’ve got 3 feet of titanium in my left leg. They insist my left leg is a rifle. You can take it from there!

    • I hear ya! I got a chunk of metal holding my spine together, but haven’t flown since, so no problem yet.

    • The titanium mesh holding part of my cranium in place doesn’t register on anything short of an MRI.

      It’s irrational, but I couldn’t help feeling vaguely disappointed when it didn’t trip the metal detectors on my first post-surgery trip through the airport.

  7. Same invasion as looking to see how much money I carry or if I have rubber in my pocket. This is as far from liberty as one can get. A machine which looks real-time into your legal person and will bring to question your Rights. Does it detect my CCL too? I didn’t think so.

  8. All I have to say is this… When everything looks like a gun, nothing looks like a gun. Pay bums to walk around with metal gun shaped items and watch the fedcoats get frustrated.

  9. You were saying tin-foil folk? Who envisioned the home computer,cell phone or internet for that matter?…You ain’t seen nothin” yet…

  10. it’s left in the hands of legislators, judges, and law enforcement to decide the right application for each.

    Well, we’re fµ¢ϰed.

  11. Good ideas for a oppressive society where intimidation and ubiquitous spying are norm. Bad for a free society where privacy and liberty are respected.

    I think that the idea grows from the belief that if only more control over people could be exerted then it would make a “better, safer” society.

  12. I see no good coming from this type of device and have no trust of the government not misusing it. In addition I can see organized crime getting this stuff and using it to out under cover cops.

    You do know that unlicensed radar broadcast devices are illegal (and readily available)? I envision cheap processor controlled devices designed to detect the radar signature of these things and send out a jamming signal or perhaps one that indicates dozens or hundreds of firearms in the area. Electronics design is becoming cheaper all the time and any device like this is easy to reverse engineer after it goes into common use.

  13. This is from the people who read 1984 as a guide book. This is for the people who think that Demolition Man was a future worth working towards.

  14. I almost hate to point this out because it far easier way to do this. Very simply find out who’s not caring a gun. How do you do this you ask? Simple surprise someone with a picture of a gun and your average lump oral anti-gun or will Wet themselves and run the other way screaming gun gun gun. Anyone who ignores it may either be caring 11 are red blooded American either which is fairly dangerous to A nanny state government

  15. We must make innocent items that will register as guns to the machine and distribute them widely, and carry them ourselves when unarmed to confuse and disrupt the organization scanning us. If they create sensors for gunpowder, we must sprinkle residue on so many cars and people that the scanners are discredited and useless.

  16. Did any of these boffins bother to mention the possible health risks of being zapped with microwaves all the time? This conjures images of police either rendered sterile, weighed down with metal underwear.

  17. Just like guns anything can be used to commit evil acts. You don’t ban guns. Civilians have guns the government has guns. I remember when people where up set when civilians got access to police scanners. Civilians still have access to police scanners. The sky has not fallen.

    This new technology will also be used by civilians as well. Will Bloomberg be happy when I can identify his private armed security details weapons in public and broadcast the information on the Internet? Transperancy works both ways.

  18. recently funded U.N. project

    The fricking UN doesn’t have any “funds” all they have to throw around are US $ confiscated from US taxpayers.

    This will be a GREAT additional way to utilize the capabilities planned for FirstNet. The possibilities.

  19. Perhaps someone should look into making clothing accessories out of energy-absorbent material to degrade/defeat this sort of thing.

  20. So do the citizens also get to indulge in using this technology to monitor our government and make sure they aren’t abusing it? Having it exist is one thing, having it only legal to be used by the government is completely different and should be remarked as a HELL NO.

  21. I would support a blanket ban on any federal or state law enforcement agency from even possessing these things, much less using them.

  22. I would support a blanket ban on any federal or state law enforcement agency even possessing these things, much less using them.

  23. Ordinarily I’d say its a complete violation of the constitution of the United States….

    ….in the aftermath of the Age of Obama????

    I’m not so sure.

  24. Despite violating the Constitutional provisions against invasion of privacy, we’ve got illegal search, probably followed by warrantless seizure, but the important point here is that some fracking politicians will invariably be convinced that it is perfectly OK to keep violating The Peoples’ Constitution. We The People are the only ones who respect it these days.

  25. active: powered (i.e. battery) jammer (ex. cell phone jammer)

    passive: bag, holster, storage device of wave inhibiting/blocking materials, usually metallic…aluminum foil (think anti missile chaff), etc. and this/these can have current applied to be semi-active.

  26. Isn’t is easier to just Open Carry? If “they” can tell anyway, why bother concealing? It’s always felt dishonest to me, and if it’s revealed anyhow, it’s just one more reason why Open Carry makes sense… Only criminals have a need or want to conceal.

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