Widespread cab-sharing service Uber has officially banned both riders and drivers from bringing firearms into their cars. In a press release, Uber stated that it decided to institute this policy to ensure all passengers feel comfortable using the app.
Any riders or drivers who violate this policy will lose access to the service.
While Uber is a private company and possesses the freedom to write such a policy, this decision is mired with legal ambiguity. Remember, Uber’s entire schtick is that drivers use their own cars to drive riders around. Can Uber tell a driver what they can or can’t keep in a car it doesn’t legally own?
What about when the driver lives in an area where it is completely legal to carry a gun in a car? Uber’s former policy regarding guns was that drivers should simply follow local open carry or concealed firearm policies. Is it legal for the app to now circumvent gun ownership laws?
In April, an Uber driver actually prevented a mass shooting by using a concealed firearm he had legally carried in his vehicle. This incident is certainly not the norm, but it did demonstrate an instance where a concealed firearm in an Uber registered car saved lives.