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Report: Police Want to Use These X-Ray Scanners on New York City Streets

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Police in New York City are  hoping an emerging radiation technology will one day help the Big Apple become a gun free zone.

According to CBS News, The NYPD, along with the U.S. Department of Defense, are investigating an emerging technology that can detect concealed weapons on the human body via a special scanner placed in police vehicles.

Called Terahertz Imaging Detection, the scanner measures the energy radiating from a body up to 16 feet away, and will bounce back an image of anything blocking it-- like a gun.

The NYPD, as the country's largest local police agency-- sometimes called the "seventh largest army" in the world at about 35,000 uniformed officers could be setting a worrying precedent for 2nd amendment and privacy advocates if it continues to push for this technology.

Already the debate has heated up, and WCBS-TV gives an overview of the gun scanners and the privacy concerns they raise in this video clip below (video may take a few minutes to load):

The New York Civil Liberties Union has already expressed its fears that terahertz imaging would violate privacy rights. “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.

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. He has claimed they would only be used at specific events or a shooting prone location.

Terahertz imaging technology already works, but NYPD wants it to be more portable and have a greater detection range before they consider outfitting patrol cars with this cutting-edge-- and troubling-- technology.

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