Miami police arrested an Uber driver in Coconut Grove for selling narcotics based on a tip. The law enforcement officers were engaged in an anti-gun violence operation. They received a tip and arrested the Uber driver at a convenience store on Grand Avenue. The driver was also in possession of a gun.
One question Miami personal injury lawyers face is whether Uber drivers and riders are legally allowed to carry a handgun when using the Uber app. The official Uber policy states: “Uber Firearms Prohibition Policy – Our goal is to ensure that everyone has a safe and reliable ride. That’s why Uber prohibits riders and drivers from carrying firearms of any kind in a vehicle while using our app. Anyone who violates this policy may lose access to Uber.”
Since Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing transportation networks are privately held companies, they can uphold their Firearms Prohibition Policies. But in reality such prohibitions are unenforced until after something tragic or horrific happens.
It is interesting to note the use of the word “may” in Uber’s policy. They could have used the word “shall” or “must” in discussing violations. In our analysis, Uber has no intention of enforcing the firearm prohibition unless and until they need to in order to escape legal liability.
Only after an Uber driver or rider is threatened, injured or killed will Uber step up and say that the violator has lost access to Uber. They will refer the injured, threatened or families of those fatally killed to their firearms policy. However, Uber is unlikely to go out of their way to enforce the gun prohibition before something bad happens.
As most Uber drivers know, the only real enforcement Uber exercises is in ratings and reviews. If a driver’s ratings drop below a certain level, then the driver is suspended. But Uber never checks if its drivers or riders carry a gun or possess a concealed weapons permit. They simply hide behind their policy.
If Uber or Lyft was serious about the safety of their drivers and riders, then they would do more to enforce their gun prohibition. They could investigate whether the people who use the Uber or Lyft app have gun permits. They could advertise or post Public Safety Announcements (PSA) about the firearm prohibition. But that would cost money and might not be entirely consistent with the marketing campaigns of Uber or Lyft. In our opinion, that is shameful.
If you are an Uber driver or rider, you have no way to know if anyone in the car has a gun. You know about Uber’s firearm policy, but you also know that Uber isn’t likely to begin enforcing the policy anytime soon. Until they need to avoid responsibility.
The Miami personal injury lawyers at Wolfson & Leon represent Uber drivers and passengers. We also represent people injured in accidents with Uber drivers. Uber and Lyft car crashes present complicated insurance issues. Our Miami Uber injury attorneys understand these complicated insurance questions that arise in Uber or Lyft related car crashes and work diligently to represent our clients’ best interests.