Uber does all it can to ensure that its on-demand cars are rolling gun-free zones. As you may already know, the company prohibits both its drivers and their passengers from carrying firearms, no matter the local laws where their cars operate. Sometimes, though, the real world intrudes on this utopian dream of peace on earth and good will toward the men and women in and around their driver-owned vehicles. Just as it did early yesterday morning in south Florida.

The driver, who had a passenger in his vehicle, was travelling to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

“At approximately 5:50 a.m. today, there was a gentleman operating an Uber and picked up a fare here in Aventura at one of the local condos,” Aventura police Sgt. Chris Goranitis told reporters Sunday, according to ABC affiliate WPLG.

The Uber driver’s vehicle was then cut off by a Dodge Caravan minivan on the William Lehman Causeway.

“The driver of the Caravan exited the vehicle and he had two firearms in his hands and he pointed them at the Uber driver and demanded items from the driver,” Goranitis said. “This was an attempted robbery. We don’t believe it was road rage.”

You have to wonder why a highway stick-up man would target a car service that doesn’t accept cash payments. It’s possible something else was going on here. Or maybe he didn’t know he’d stopped an Uber car at all. We may never know because no one will be getting much useful information out of the two-fisted gunman.

(T)he unidentified Uber driver was also armed, and he proceeded to fire at the would-be thief, police said.

An accomplice took off in the minivan as his partner exsanguinated on the causeway pavement.

The suspect, who was not identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fortunately neither the driver nor his passenger was harmed in the making of this armed self-defense story. While the un-named driver was a licensed concealed carrier, he’s likely now looking for another new economy-type gig, as Uber will no doubt pull his ticket. There’s no report as to whether the passenger needed a change of shorts before boarding his plane.

In the end, all’s well that ends well. Will an incident like this change Uber’s mind about allowing legally carried firearms in their vehicles? Don’t hold your egg nog-scented breath. And while the driver may take a financial hit from the loss of his job, this little situation could have ended up far worse for both occupants of the Uber car. Drive on.

 

 

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39 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Concealed Carrying Uber Driver Stops Highway Robbery

  1. Uber has a lot to recommend it, for both the drivers and the riders. It also has a few issues. The one that got me to leave was the $1,000 deductable on their insurance when I spent 8 hours per night dodging drunk tourists on the Las Vegas Strip. One hit and 2 close calls was enough.

    What never stopped me, however, was the stupid no-gun policy. My LC9s was ALWAYS in the console and for some reason it never occurred to me to ask any person who entered my car whether or not they were carrying a concealed weapon. I suspect, aside from their uber liberal (see what I did there?) political views, European origins, and San Francisco headquarters, the point of that no-guns statement is mostly for insurance purposes. No representative ever inspected me or my car and it was never suggested to me that I frisk my passengers before they got on board, much less ask them flat out if they were carrying.

    Uber on, and keep carrying – no one’s the wiser until you need it, then their opinion doesn’t count.

    Do Texas 30.06 signs have the force of law if posted on the side of an Uber?

  2. I would appreciate seeing how this unfolds. I would like to know if the Uber driver’s “privileges” to drive for them are indeed revoked.

    Their “no guns” policy is most likely nothing more than their lawyer’s advice to minimize liability insurance costs. It’s always about the money.

    • The law refers to cars parked in company lots while the employee is working. Unless I’ve seriously missed a relevant ccw law here. When the car itself is the workplace, I’m not so sure. While it’s probably not a criminal act to violate Uber’s policy, the law won’t protect you from being terminated. But just like the pizza delivery and pharmacy employees, I’d rather be alive and looking for a new job.

      • Have always carried even if employer prohibited it–they DO NOT have the right to tell me that I can not defend myself–my point of view is that it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it

    • I thought Uber drivers were classified as contractors. I haven’t followed the legal gyrations closely, though.

      • Uber drivers are considered “Independent Contractors”, but that status is being challenged in many jurisdictions, so far to no avail. Nevertheless, the person/company for which you contract has the authority to set the terms of the contract. Violation of those terms can result (almost certainly) in your being released.

        • Those terms can also result in you being an employee. It depends on the terms. The employee/contractor determination is highly fact specific.

  3. Congratulation every violence felon must shoot dead ore to wheelchair !!

    In Tennesse you can lawsuite uber in future in that case

    http://bearingarms.com/jenn-j/2016/06/28/want-a-gun-free-zone-tennessee-says-thats-on-you-literally/

    i hope missouri too next

    http://bulletsfirst.net/2016/12/05/mo-bill-introduced-hold-gun-free-zone-owners-liable-damages/

    if you can t ban genders, gay”s ore black nobody should able to ban lawfull gun carring on his buisness !!

        • Have you considered that English may be his second language? If so, at least he is trying to contribute to the conversation. Perhaps a little more patience for a fellow pro-2A commenters is in order. After all, it’s a comment not a Thesis.

        • If English is a second language, type the original into Google or Bing translate. At least we might be able to catch the intent. I can’t make any sense out of what was written, especially the first sentence.

        • Well, I guess I’m an uneducated Deplorable then, because I understood everything Libertarian said. Note: Understanding /= endorsement.

  4. An Uber driver is not an employee. As such Uber has zero say if the driver is armed. Uber is a ride booking service. The driver is as much a customer of Uber as the rider. The driver pays a commission to Uber for each rider referral. The rider pays Uber a booking and insurance fee. Uber has made it perfectly clear in most places that drivers are not employees. They pay zero withholding taxes etc. How Uber thinks they have a say in how a contractor driving a vehicle he or she owns decides to protect themselves and their customer is baffling.

      • The IRS says…
        “The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.”

        Contract is null and void as far as telling a driver how it will be done.

        IRS also says…
        “You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.”

        Uber can not have it both ways. If Uber wants to tell a driver that they can’t carry a gun then they can start paying the employer part of FDIC and Medicare.
        Since they have fought tooth and nail to avoid that they agree by default that they have zero control over the way the driver does his or her job.

    • If given a chance companies like Uber and lyft along with air b n b will dictate everything they can. While scooping big profits and saddling the operator with risks and costs.
      All good and well, just understand the risks and make up your own mind about playing.

    • This policy seems like an employment policy and could be argued as such by this driver if he is terminated for defending himself. If it is ruled that Uber is an employer than it could effect other court cases since Uber is violating employment laws of many states. Even the no gun policy is considered a term of the contract a court may declare the contract illegal since it violates rights due to the no gun policy.
      If an off-duty cop drove for Uber or rode in an Uber it would be illegal to deny him or her access due to his or her being armed because armed police are a protected class in Texas and by enforcing this policy they are breaking Texas state law and possibly other laws.

  5. If you need to defend your life, breach of contract is pretty small potatoes.

    And I say that as someone who writes contracts for a living.

  6. Who cares what Uber “prohibits”?

    What are they going to do, arrest you?

    Stop you from using their application? Oooooooo, I’m really shaking now.

    Let them actually try to enforce their click-thru license agreement and see where it gets them – standing against BS like this is the only way forward.

  7. “That’s why Uber prohibits riders and drivers from carrying firearms of any kind in a vehicle while using our app.”

    Simple solution. Rig a holster (or buy a specialty rig) that holds the gun security off your person but accessible to the driver. Refrain from holding the gun while actually using the app.

    Then when they try to fire you for violating their policy you say “Technically I never carried the gun while using the app. However, I did break multiple traffic laws while driving and using the app…”. When they try to argue you show them this, pull a microphone and a lawyer’s business card from your pocket and drop both on the floor before walking away with both middle fingers up:

  8. My brother, who drives for Uber and Lyft and who as it would turn out isn’t too keen on guns or concealed carry has undergone something of an attitude adjustment after he’s had some scary encounters with questionable customers. My how lived experience can undermine ideology.

  9. What’s interesting to see is the litany of support from even the “liberal” crowd for this driver. I frequent iO9 as a source of tech / geek news (which has recently turned to mostly leftist dribble). The commenters on that site are well-known for their idolatry of the left. However, in this circumstance, they were staunchly in support of the driver, and stated the same points as can be found here. I think there may actually, finally, be a paradigm shift in support of self-defense.

    http://gizmodo.com/uber-driver-shoots-and-kills-alleged-robber-while-passe-1790267927

  10. I have a policy of ignoring employers’ no gun policies, since none have yet paid me enough to risk coming home in a box. Thirty-one years of concealed carry has taught me how to carry so that none is the wiser. God bless this Uber Driver !

  11. In my area, we have Amazon Prime Now that offers a limited, but still very useful. catalog of items and delivers your order to your door in as little as an hour. The list of available items is geared toward stuff people often need in a hurry. We are a test city, but I think more cities will get Prime Now soon. I also think other retailers like WalMart might start doing this.

    They use contract drivers and I think a lot of drivers who were working Uber, Lyft and pizza delivery are now getting most of their work from Amazon. I can see why. No riders to deal with, no restrictions and a constant stream of work without having to wait around for the next fare. Probably less dangerous also. I think outfits like Uber are going have a harder time getting drivers at some point. I also see that in at least one city, Uber drivers are trying to unionize.

    I travel on business a lot and I get reimbursed for my taxi rides, so I don’t care about the cost too much. I have tried Uber and Lyft, but I generally don’t use them. I find in most cities, licensed taxi drivers are more reliable, safer and have cleaner vehicles than contract drivers.

  12. I’m throwing the BS flag, here; didn’t happen. Someone on this blog noted a coupla days ago that POTG cannot point to even a single defensive gun use as support for the idea that carrying a gun is in the public interest.

    Therefore, this report from a source other than TTAG cannot be a true DGU. More fake news.

  13. Anybody else loving the Lyft commercials in TV rotation lately? This could be make the script for another one.

    Uber has an image problem, somewhat deserved. Lyft is playing to that. So, the near-monopoly matchmaking for a fee service doesn’t want the liability of having employees, but does want to protect itself, or virtue signal, by demanding that it’s “independent contractors” be unable to protect themselves. All righty then.

  14. Uber was organized and started in San Francisco, CA.

    I grew up in that bay area and I can promise you, with absolute certainty, that the management and staff does not want ANYONE in their employ to use a firearm at anytime…

    ….unless they are the security for the Uber execs, and then good marksmanship is desired.

    The hypocrisy of the left coast is pretty legendary on this subject.

  15. As long as Uber and Uber drivers are ignoring actual laws about who can drive people around for money, I think those same drivers will be willing to ignore Uber’s terms of use. All they can do is stop referring fairs to the drivers. They were going to do that anyway after the driver was murdered.

  16. Uber’s requirement that the driver use their smartphone while driving is an illegal requirement in my opinion since the driver is forced to break no cell phone laws while driving if they want to work for Uber, or not break the law and be unable to work for Uber. If multiple courts were to rule that Uber’s policy regarding smartphones is illegal it may force Uber to design a hands free app.

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