JayMac: Is this new weapon-scanning technology legal?

May 23, 2019, 5:05 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm
Guns for sale at The Gun Vault in South Jordan Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. (Deseret News file)...
Guns for sale at The Gun Vault in South Jordan Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. (Deseret News file)
(Deseret News file)

DISCLAIMER: the following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.

Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes says he has signed an agreement with a company that allows testing in the state of a new technology to scan for weapons through a person’s clothing at public events and venues.

The 3D technology, Hexwave, bounces energy pulses off clothing and purses and backpacks and creates 3D images of the concealed items to determine if they are guns, knives, bombs, metallic and non-metallic weapons or other security threats.The scanning system ignores shapes like wallets, cellphones and other harmless items, but it alerts security workers when possible threats are detected. The technology, which can be hidden, could be used at soft targets like concerts, schools, movie theaters, amusement parks, churches, etc.

Safety vs. Privacy

This makes a lot of sense to me where you have to pass through a security checkpoint, like an airport or a courthouse. I welcome it at places like that, but in a place where you have a right to conceal-carry a weapon, how is this security technology going to be used? The part of conceal-carry that’s important to the carrier is “conceal,” and now that has been taken away.

Is it a violation of the 4th amendment against search and seizure?

I’m in a public place when the scanning technology alerts security personnel to a weapon I’m carrying. Am I kicked out of the public place? Do you pull me out of line and ask me if I have a concealed-carry permit? Now I have to prove my innocence. The preassumption of innocence should remain in place until there is a reason not to.

John Mejia of the ACLU of Utah has concerns, too. Particularly the lack of details and public input about the attorney general’s decision to sign on for testing of Atlanta-based Liberty Defense’s new technology in Utah.

“People attending sporting events, festivals, and school campuses in Utah didn’t sign up to be guinea pigs to find defects in a private company’s surveillance system,” he said.

He said the ACLU has long been a proponent of allowing the public to have a say in what technology law enforcement is planning to use to monitor us. Give residents at the local level an opportunity to provide input, he said.

“When you are in public you have a reasonable expectation of privacy from government intrusion. . . to stop you against your will and search you. Law enforcement would have to have a reasonable basis to do that. What we’re talking about here is a mass search of everybody . . . and despite that you’re out in public, that doesn’t mean you don’t have an expectation of privacy of your body and what’s underneath your clothes,” Meija said.

He pointed out that when you go to an airport, there is an expectation that you’re going to be searched for weapons and other threats to security, but that’s not the same situation when you attend a concert, school or church.

He also added that if you use an insulin pump, for example, and that’s not public knowledge, there’s no reason for the police to have that knowledge.

Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show, weekdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on KSL Newsradio, as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Don’t forget to review and subscribe to the JayMac News Show podcast on Apple Podcasts. Or follow Jay on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories


Real estate agents are being scammed in Utah on the housing app Zillow....
Hugo Rikard-Bell and Aimee Cobabe

Real estate agents, along with Utah residents, being scammed on Zillow

Utah officials say there are ten different cases of vacant lots or parcel listings fraudulently offered on Zillow.
15 hours ago
The Duchesne County Sheriff's Office says a suspect is in stable condition following an officer-inv...
Mark Jones

Suspect hospitalized after officer-involved shooting in Duchesne County

A suspect is in stable condition following an officer-involved shooting Monday night in Duchesne County.
2 days ago
a car is pictured it might have been involved in a provo hit-and-run...
Aimee Cobabe

Provo Police looking for information about two cars in deadly hit-and-run

Police are asking anyone with information about the hit-and-run to contact Provo Police Detective Smith at 
2 days ago
Samantha Herrera

Increased shoplifting puts pressure on retailers and raises prices

Shoplifting is hitting retailers hard this season. Though retailers lose millions in stolen merchandise, offenders usually go without much punishment.
2 days ago
A west valley police car is pictured. Police are investigating a hit and run...
Aimee Cobabe

Woman charged in February fatal car crash in West Valley City

A 30-year-old woman is in custody after West Valley City Police say she was the one behind the wheel of a car that caused a deadly crash in February.
2 days ago
The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office is being sued after what started with a Snapchat request in...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office being sued after former cadet reports abuse

A former Salt Lake County Sheriff deputy and academy instructor allegedly committed numerous sexual assaults against a former cadet.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
JayMac: Is this new weapon-scanning technology legal?