In June 2018, an Uber driver fatally shot his passenger while on Interstate 25 in Denver. Though the driver's family insists it was self-defense after the passenger attacked him, the driver has been charged with first-degree murder. And now both Uber and Lyft are clarifying their weapons policies for drivers and passengers alike. Here's what you should know about these policies before you get a ride from either ridesharing company.
Do Lyft or Uber Allow Weapons in the Car?
Officially, the policy for both companies is that no one can bring firearms into the car. More specifically, Uber forbids passengers and drivers from carrying firearms while using the ridesharing app. They're simply encouraged to use the app to report any threats of violence or other negative behavior.
Note that Uber doesn't specifically mention that other weapons are prohibited during rides. Instead, Uber representatives said they go by the Community Guidelines to determine what's allowed. But in general, Uber does not permit violent behavior, verbal threats, or aggressive comments and gestures. These are supposed to be reported so Uber can investigate and ban drivers or riders as appropriate.
All that being said, Uber does make some exceptions within its firearms policy. First, police officers and security guards who need to carry guns for work are exempt from this rule, so they're allowed to ride with their weapons. Also, Uber does allow firearms that are transported using the rules set by the Transportation Security Administration—which requires the gun to be unloaded, locked in a hard container, and placed in the trunk of the car.
Like Uber, Lyft does not allow riders or passengers to ride with a firearm—with the exception of police offers and security guards. But one detail to note is that Lyft forbids not only firearms but also other weapons. These may include stun guns, knives, tasers, explosives, and slingshots. Anyone who violates this weapons policy will be banned from riding with or driving with Lyft.
Enforcement of Weapons Policies
Now you know where Uber and Lyft fall on the issue of firearms during rides. But one common question is how can they enforce it? And are they legally allowed to do so considering having a gun is a constitutional right?
The answer is complicated. Uber representatives have admitted that it's hard to enforce this rule proactively, as they don't typically know that someone is carrying a gun until there's an incident that involves it. And by then, it's too late. So they're depending on rideshare drivers and riders to follow the rules when it comes to firearms.
As far as whether having this rule is legal, Denver attorneys and police officers weighed in and said generally yes, though it's a complicated issue overall. Businesses are typically allowed to make their own policy prohibiting firearms. However, it's up to them to enforce it, and they can't be surprised if some people aren't pleased with the rules or try to challenge the legality of them.
Injuries Involving Lyft & Uber in Colorado
Note that the Denver Police Department did some brief research on ridesharing crimes and found that within six months, people reported 66 crimes—and 10 of them involved a firearm. So despite how hard Uber and Lyft work to create a safe environment for drivers and passengers, it's definitely not unheard of to be hurt or killed while driving or getting a ride.
If you know this firsthand and have been injured during a Lyft or Uber ride, contact a Denver personal injury attorney today for help. You might be surprised at your legal rights after a rideshare accident, shooting, or other violent incident involving Uber or Lyft.