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Violence Against Rideshare Drivers Sparks Calls for Change in Weapons Policy

Okabe & Haushalter Mar 2, 2019 Weapons Charge

Two recent and unfortunate violent crimes against rideshare drivers have resulted in drivers in California and across the country demanding changes in Uber and Lyft’s anti-gun policy. Uber and Lyft prohibit passengers or drivers from carrying guns while they are a driver or passenger in a rideshare vehicle. Drivers are now asking these rideshare companies to review their weapons policies in order to permit drivers to carry firearms in their vehicles as a safety precaution.

Los Angeles weapons charges attorneys know that most often people have guns to use only in an emergency situation for self-defense and there is a good chance that some of these rideshare drivers will look the other way when it comes to rideshare weapons policies in order to protect themselves from dangerous passengers.

Recent incidents

Two recent rideshare incidents have led to this wave of rideshare drivers calling for policy reviews and changes.

  • At the end of January, a pregnant Lyft driver in Tempe, Arizona was stabbed to death by a Lyft passenger with a kitchen knife. Police reported that the attack began in her vehicle and continued as she got out of the vehicle and managed to make her way to an apartment building. Neither the driver nor her baby survived the attack. The passenger was apprehended by the police, but they still have not yet determined a motive for the tragic murder.
  • Several days later, another driver was attacked by an Uber passenger in Arizona and suffered a slit throat and other wounds. The driver, who survived, reportedly told police that when he stopped his vehicle at the end of the ride he felt something run along his neck and blood poured out. He reported that there was no conflict or struggle that led up to the attack. The Uber passenger claimed that he feared the driver was going to attack him.

California’s rideshare driver attacks

California has seen its share of rideshare driver attacks as well, most notably the Taco Bell executive who was caught on camera allegedly assaulting his Uber driver and was subsequently fired from his job after the video was released. Another driver crashed his vehicle into a tree and he alleged it was caused by his drunk Uber passengers attacking him. This past summer another CaliforniaUber driver was beaten and robbed by several of his passengers.

It is understandable why some rideshare drivers may feel safer with a gun or other weapon with them while working. Presumably, most people who have guns and other deadly weapons want them for protection in the event that someone threatens their lives. California and the federal government have strict gun control laws, however, and if they are not explicitly followed when obtaining a firearm, the consequences of a weapons charge can be severe.

If you have charged with a gun or other weapons crime, contact a Los Angeles weapons charges attorney at Okabe & Haushalter to discuss the facts of your case and related charges.