NYPD To Replace Stop and Frisk with New Gun Scanners

Terahertz? It’s killing me! But that’s what the new scanners the NYPD is testing use to see whether or not someone’s packing heat. More specifically, it looks for the outline of something blocking the body’s natural emissions of terahertz radiation — something shaped like a gun perhaps. This, from nydailynews.com: “The department will begin testing the high-tech device for use on the street. The device is small enough to be placed in a police vehicle or stationed at a street corner where gunplay has occurred in the past.” The new equipment won’t be used to scan people about to board planes. No, the new gizmos are intended to peer at (and under the clothing of) anyone walking down the street, minding his or her own business. Mayor Mike and his army appear ready to turn the Big Apple into a giant Fourth Amendment-free zone. Alan Gottlieb, please call your office.


  1. avatar William says:

    This way, to the brightly-painted cattle cars.

    1. avatar pat says:

      Shoot those evil, creepy republic killing boxes with a pellet gun from a distance.

  2. avatar Aharon says:

    Time for everyone in NYC to walk around with metal body protection armor under their coats and shemagh head scarves. It will drive the Bloomberg boys in blue nuts.

    PS There are also cooling and heating vests on the market. This could be fun.

    1. avatar mountocean says:

      You do mean tin-foil underwear, right?

      1. avatar Aharon says:

        That’s a good idea too!

    2. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Seems to me that an Altoids box (or similar) with a 6″ piece of half-inch steel pipe glued to it would be an effective Freedom Pistol if someone wanted to crank out 1000 units and crowdsource a denial-of-service attack every time NYPD announced that they would be running a checkpoint.

      Just be sure to have cameras rolling when the flash mob converges!

  3. avatar ensitu says:

    No Sh*t
    The Stassi are donning their NYPD uniforms as we speak

  4. avatar Brian S says:

    interesting how these just happen to be employed after their state government uses emergency powers to rush gun legislation through.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      This has been in the works for a while. I think Robert even had a post on it.

      Having some experience with sensors I can imagine given all the cellphones and other gizmos people carry these days there are going to be a lot of false alarms with this system. I believe SCOTUS has already held that remote sensing does not constitute ureasonable search, however a high false alarm rate that would essentially lead to the old stop and frisk practices would be sufficent for this system to fail the 4th Amendment test.

      1. avatar Howdy says:

        Might be time to re-address that issue. This goes beyond the unconstitutional Terry frisk and the five senses.

        I wonder if the justices sometimes forget that, at some point in time, this might happen to them? I think if you can imagine yourself on the receiving end of something like this, maybe the decision would be different.

      2. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

        Will a positive hit constitute probable cause, seems to me to be the relevant question.

        1. avatar Bob says:

          They’ll use any positive, true of false, to initiate a SWAT raid.

          This is EXACTLY what tyranny looks like.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          In all depends on the false alarm rate. If it is high then the device will be no better than the already outlawed stop and frisk tactics that have been disallowed by the Courts. If FA rate is zero (not likely) than yes it would constitute legitimate probable cause.

      3. avatar Mark N. says:

        I think SCOTUS held that remote sensing DOES constitute a search. At one point, the police were using infrared technology to identify occupants inside houses and possible other misconduct (like pot growing). The police argue that it was no different than peering through an open window, which is not a search. I don’t think that played to weel with the Supremes and the practice was banned, at least for the purposes of using such devices to gather evidence of a crime.

        1. avatar George says:

          You’re right on this. The case was Kyllo v. US. 533 US 27.

          SCOTUS found that the use of thermal imaging technology which was not available to the public to peer into a home was essentially the equivalent of an officer entering the home and conducting a search. Since the officer had no warrant, this was an unreasonable search within the meaning of the 4th amendment.

          Since this technology is not available to the general public, I wonder how this will pan out in the Courts…

        2. avatar 16V says:

          Thanks for remembering Kyllo.

          But post (un) Patriot Act, freedom doesn’t matter. All that matters is “being safe”.

          Someday we’ll charge the shrub with treason along with obo…

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      > This has been in the works for a while.

      There was talk about NYC implementing some type of radar to scan the public for concealed guns back in 1999, or the late 20th century for you youngsters.

      Obviously, the technology would have been older back then, and I don’t know if it was ever implemented.

  5. avatar Rob G says:

    All New Yorkers should start carrying toy guns everywhere.
    That’ll eventually stop it.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Brave talk for a keyboard commando.

      What makes you think that New Yorkers have an interest in foiling this system?

      Especially if doing so will result in the inconvenience of being stopped by the police?

      1. avatar Rob G says:

        Remember, they already stop and frisk people just for breathing. If everyone does it, they will eventually stop this practice.

        Thankfully, I’m not a New Yorker, but if I were, I’d do it.

        1. avatar Air Force TSgt says:

          They only stop you if you are not white.

        2. avatar 16V says:

          A replica gun is a real gun according to NY law…

  6. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I think, on days when I had nowhere to go and nowhere to be, I would make a tinfoil cutout to tuck in my pants, just to hassle them.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Like the tinfoil-cutout-in-the-book scene from “The Eiger Sanction.” I like it.

  7. avatar ST says:

    “Dispatch, suspects are black males wearing thermal undergarments heading south on 110th Street, requesting backup.”

    1. avatar O.E says:

      “911 What is your emergency?”
      “Emergency Dispatch!!! I need Police, 2 black males are pointing guns at the convenience store clerk”

  8. avatar brcSVO says:

    Coming soon… pocket holsters designed to disguise your gun’s radiation signature.

    1. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

      its not the guns radiation signature, its the cast shadow of the gun blocking your body’s radiation signature.

  9. avatar JSIII says:

    Yeah…I feel really bad for people living in NYC…can we just let them break away from the US and become their own little dictatorship? We could even build a wall around the city and mine all the bridges like in Escape from NY….

    1. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

      Give it six months and we will have to send Snake Pliskin in after the Mayor (for a hit, not a rescue).

      1. avatar In Memphis says:

        I like it! Unless the actor who played Snake is another pro-hollywood-gun, anti-real-gun.

        Anyone know what Kurt Russel is up to these days?

        1. avatar Josh says:

          NRA member and best man at Ted Nugent’s wedding. Also hardcore Libertarian.

        2. avatar In Memphis says:

          Hmm, I had no clue. Thats pretty cool I guess

  10. avatar Carl says:

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . .

    1. avatar ST says:

      But dude, the 4th Amendment was written to protect rich white slave owners from having their slaves taken away in the night by freemen!

      Its history, I swear. I read about it in Public School.

    2. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

      When the founders wrote the 4th amendment, they could not have known that in the future there would be guns small enough to fit in your pocket that would be powerful enough to wipe out an entire room full of school children. I support peoples’ right to be secure in their possessions, but there have to be common sense limits. There’s no reason that people need to be ABSOLUTELY secure in their possessions, and if a device like this can save just one child then you’d have to be some kind of fringe absolutist to oppose it.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        I swear to the sweet baby Jesus himself I can’t tell if you’re serious.

        If you’re not, then well-played, sir.

        If you are, call me a fringe absolutist, I suppose.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          Thanks Matt in FL

          I think you replied well. I can’t figure out if BC is being sarcastic or serious.

        2. avatar CCW Guy says:

          I laughed out loud!

      2. avatar foggy says:


        Otherwise you must have really big pockets.

        1. avatar Michael B. says:

          You bitter, clinging regressives need to stop with the constitutional arguments. It’s a living, breathing document subject to court interpretation and if the courts decide this isn’t a 4th amendment violation then it is isn’t. You don’t have a right to privacy when you step out in public anyway.

          Keyboard commandos.

        2. avatar Chris Dumm says:

          @Michael B:

          “You have no right to privacy when you step out in private.” You’re dead wrong on that, amigo, and if you were right we’d all be lining up for body-cavity searches the moment we left the house. The expectation of privacy is heightened in the home, but is not surrendered when one walks out the front door.

          And to correct another leagle beagle who chimed in earlier, remote searches *are* searches when they violate a reasonable expectation of privacy. In Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001), the Supreme Court held that a warrantless infrared scan of the *exterior* of a home was an unconstitutional search.

          Surreptitious full-body scans of everyone on the sidewalk would not hold the heightened expectation of privacy that exists in the home, but they would be an even more intimate violation of privacy by revealing literally what is under each subject’s clothing. Kyllo’s infrared search only showed heat leakage through the walls of his house, but these ultra-short wavelength scanners would reveal everything on his person.

        3. avatar Michael B. says:

          (I was being sarcastic, Chris.)

        4. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Actually, the holding in Kyllo was tied to the facts of the case and therefore pertains to the home, which receives the highest deference in 4th Am law. Cars? Not so much. People walking heavily traveled streets? It has varied. State law is even more diffuse. New York City’s elite want it to be a safe place for finance, walled off from the rabble in the fly-over states, a city fully and constantly under surveillance. They are slowly being granted their wish…until 38 fly-over states bust up their over-sized corrupt banks, pass some EPA regs that make their dense living illegal, force gun freedom upon them, and mandate less financial concentration to reduce systemic vulnerability to terrorism.

      3. avatar Liberty2Alpha says:

        Very well played, Sir. Very well played.

  11. avatar Casey T says:

    Is there a competition going on to see who can violate the constitution the most? I mean this is crazy insane.

  12. avatar Accur81 says:

    I see no reason to visit New York City. Didn’t they arrest a Navy Seal for having a Sig and subsequently throw him in the mental ward?

    1. avatar Sammy says:

      Yep Same guys who shot an unarmed vet on the Belt Parkway while the vet had both hands on the wheel. In front of his girl friend. Never did hear the reason for that killing.

    2. avatar Benny says:

      New York is starting to look more and more like Nazi Germany, minus an ethnic cleansing. Or at the very least, post czar Russia.

  13. avatar Bill Baldwin says:

    It will be interesting when they start harassing undercover NYPD and federal agents because they ‘saw’ a gun.

  14. avatar okto says:

    It looks like something from a 1950s sci-fi movie. Not hard to avoid on the street, I’d imagine.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Until they put it into a van with tinted windows.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        Call them cops on them about a kidnapper van.

  15. avatar Orion says:

    So NY is adding the 3rd amendment to the list of amendments that aren’t followed by NY State? How is being scanned randomly not illegal search of your person?

    1. avatar mountocean says:

      That’s a bit of a jump.
      3: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
      I think you mean 4th, friend.

      1. avatar Orion says:

        Yes, I did mean 4th…oops.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          Don’t feel bad, Orion. Even Bloomberg can’t keep track of the amendments that he’s violating.

        2. avatar Will says:

          I don’t think Bloomers gives a care WHAT he violates, let alone cares to track ’em.

  16. avatar F. Reed says:

    “Actually we are witnessing the formation of a hybrid system: The wretched political aims of communist regimes pursued by efficient capitalist means. No communist state could make computers good enough for the new watched hive.”

  17. avatar Don says:

    Step 1: buy a roll of fine copper mesh
    Step 2: take the liner out of your jacket
    Step 3: sew metal mesh into your jacket.
    Step 4: sew liner back in.

    Now you are a Faraday cage. You are also reasonably taser proof (you’ll short them out), and have some resistance to microwave weapons.

    1. avatar piel says:

      I’m going to guess that since the tech is designed to not penetrate skin, that wearing leather would probably help.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        The tech doesn’t “penetrate” anything. This is not radar. This scans for the natural radiation that is emitted from your own body, which is blocked by solid objects, leaving a shadow.

        1. avatar Michael B. says:

          Wouldn’t carrying a wooden cutout that looked like a gun work?

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I don’t know, Michael. My guess it would have to be something a little more dense than wood.

          Wikipedia’s entry on Terahertz radiation says that it can penetrate fabrics and plastics. I suppose it would depend on the density of the wood in question.

  18. avatar roadkill6 says:

    Another in a very long line of very expensive (and unconstitutional) boondoggles. *sigh*

  19. avatar Tex74 says:

    Funny how you hear nothing from the ACLU about this…

    1. avatar My name is Bob says:

      Yeah bc the ACLU loves all our freedoms except the 2nd. If this thing was scanning for communist manifestos they’d be screaming about it, but scanning for guns is A-OK? How is this thing even legal? What sick bastard even makes such a device?

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Actually, it was the ACLU that successfully challenged NY’s stop and frisk policy, gaining a federal court injunction against the practice. A devide like the one discussed here presents the same issues, consitutionally speaking.

    3. avatar Will says:

      That because the ACLU doesn’t care about enumerated rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights… they only care about rights that were never conceived as being such when the Constitution was written. The American Civil Liberties Union, is all about their own agenda. Once in a while we get lucky and they actually fight for something good for everyone, such as Constitutionally protected rights.

    4. avatar Anonymous says:

      > What sick bastard even makes such a device?


      1. avatar InBox485 says:

        Correction: Fascists

        Capitalists create things for the free market. A private entity predominantly or exclusively serving the states interests is a hallmark of fascism. Read the Wikipedia article on fascist economy if this needs further clarification.

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        > Correction: Fascists
        > Capitalists create things for the free market.

        Capitalists create things to make a profit.

        Capitalism is an economic system that is based on private ownership of capital goods and the means of production, and the creation of goods and services for profit.

        Or, in the case of capitalists like Mitt Romney and George Soros and the rest of Wall Street, merely manipulate money to make a profit. That has become more profitable than actually creating something.

        See also the Fred Reed quote above (January 23, 2013 at 14:18).

        Since the “sick bastards” made a profit from this device, they are capitalists. They have no duty other than to make a profit, even if that means at the expense of our rights.

        As “The Milton Friedman Choir” put it…

        Corporations have no social duty
        Except to those who own their stock

        Corporations are amoral
        Corporate conscience is impossible
        The corporation really has no choice

        So if you want your freedom
        Let the corporate seize the day
        There really is no better way

        To conservatives and libertarians, corporations are a thing of beauty because they have no moral obligations to anyone other than their shareholders. Only from a corporation will a conservative accept a “I am not responsible for my amoral actions because I really have no choice” excuse.

        Since corporations are (legally) people, this lack of conscience, empathy, morality, (to some) a soul *, etc., makes them, by definition, sociopaths. As a reader of “The Daily [Ron] Paul” put it, “we made up fictitious entities and exempted them from the chains that bind normal people.”

        I’m not sure when the political Right started celebrating sociopathy as the highest possible virtue, but I suspect it was in 1957, when a Hollywood-screenwriter-turned-New-York-author popularized the idea that if everyone just acts selfishly, the result is a perfect equilibrium.

  20. avatar Sammy says:

    I think I hear, through my tin foil cap, someone looking for the keys for the FEMA Camps.

  21. avatar JB says:

    I’m getting a little exhausted by the Bloomberg-fuhrer coming out with a new idea to stomp the human spirit into the ground every freaking week. He should follow Barry’s schedule, start taking a lot of taxpayer-funded vacations.

  22. avatar InBox485 says:

    Get taser.

    Build into something with the outline of a gun.

    Route the contacts to the grip of said fake gun.

    Design said fake gun to activate taser when removed from holster.

    Walk about NYC

    Run like hell after some good for nothing nanny state b!t<h violates your rights.

    I'm not anti-LEO, in fact I like my local PD just fine, but anybody that lacks the morals to turn in their badge and walk away with this crap going on is sub human.

  23. avatar In Memphis says:

    Can they see the thing that goes up!?

    1. avatar Badger 8-3 says:

      Is that a barrel shroud in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

      No really…which is it?

  24. avatar polarbear101 says:

    i thought police needed a warrant to use thermal imaging to search for marijuana farms so how is this any different? and what is going to happen when retired LEOs who have their conceal and carry that allows them to carry in all 50 walk past that with their ccw? will the nypd then shoot several civilians in attempt to shoot you??

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Not quite. They need a warrant for a thermal search of a building, but not for fly-over surveillance of fields and forests.

    2. avatar Ropingdown says:

      And despite the discussion of Kyllo, above (and the dicta in Kyllo) infrared cameras of highest quality are readily available to the civilian market. A nice combination night-sight/infrared camera costs only $14,000… and free shipping. The US is going to have to rethink privacy, whether on the net or on the streets. Technology is out-racing law by leaps. And guns? Look how gun owners are rapidly snapping up super-modern guns, AR’s and….well, OK, AR’s are 54 years old, low tech. OK, it’s invasion of privacy that is the problem, not guns.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Absolutely correct. One could argue that gun bans are an invasion of privacy as well as the 2A. Techniology today, especially communications and computer technology, is highly intrusive, usually with few users knowing that they are being spied upon by un disclosed corporations, other users, and the US government should it so desire. Most modern cell phones have GPS devices that can’t be turned off without disabling the phone. Apparently the Obama girls are not permitted cell phomes for this very reason. The FBI took down a mob gang by programming the BGs phones to turn on their mikes when the government wanted to turn them on, thus allowing the government to have “wires” on a bunch of gangsters without their knowledge. Google, Facebook all of them are guilty of changing the rules of the game all the time so as to permit these companies to track your browsing habits surreptitiously, and much much more. I read yesterday that any number of apps for iPhones have tracking features included in the software, some valid some completely unnecessary. Remember Enemy of the State?

  25. avatar TheSleeperHasAwakened says:


    You are now Guilty until proven Innocent.

  26. avatar David says:

    Can anyone say “mylar clothing.”

  27. avatar Liberty2Alpha says:

    The TRS-80 is making a comeback?

    Who knew?

  28. avatar Tom RKBA says:

    I guess a search warrant is no longer necessary in NYC.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Hasn’t been for 20+ years…

  29. avatar APBTFan says:

    I guess since all their school districts and the disadvantaged elderly have all the funds they need why not throw stupid amounts of money towards some useless bullshit. It should work great even though the huge ass smartphones everyone has nowadays are damn near as big as a good pocket heater.

  30. avatar Crunkleross says:

    I will wrap tin foil around my junk, it will be funny when they try to locate the Desert Eagle 50 I must be concealing….or maybe the NAA 22short how cold is it in NYC?

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