Former Uber driver fired over carrying weapon says the rules need to change

Posted at 8:41 AM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 08:41:01-04

Marc D'Andre says he was fired from his job as an Uber driver this summer because a passenger reported that he had a gun in his car.

D'Andre has a concealed carry permit, however, both Uber and Lyft have a "no firearms policy" for drivers and passengers.

Drivers undergo a background check, while passengers are simply rated on the company's app. D'Andre feels passengers need to be held more accountable.

“The same policy applies to the passengers, where they’re not allowed to have a weapon in the car," D'Andre told 7 Action News. "Where’s the security guard that’s going to pat them down and search them?"

D'Andre, who has driven for both Lyft and Uber, says in parts of Detroit, carrying a weapon makes him feel safer.

“You are required to have a new car in good condition, they do no background check on the passengers, they’re not going to install a glass partition in the car like a cab to protect you," he said.

D'Andre thinks the corporate rules need to change to better protect drivers for both companies.

“You just never know who you’re actually going to pick up," said frequent Uber passenger Tyler Selig.

D’Andre said people have attempted to steal his car while using the Uber app. He said his concealed weapon has kept him forom having his car stolen in the past.

7 Action News has reported on several instances of violence against ridesharing drivers. Last year, a ridesharing driver was shot and killed on Detroit’s west side during a pick-up.

On Friday, a Detroit driver was carjacked and assaulted by a group of passengers.

RELATED: Rideshare driver shot while picking up customer from Detroit's west side

And over the weekend, a driver was shot while picking someone up on Grandville near Joy.

“If they inside a bad neighborhood they should be able to carry," said ridesharing passenger Keyez Jackson.

Other passengers don’t like the idea of drivers carrying guns.

“I’d feel nervous," said Keyetta Daniels.

There's also been cases of violence perpetrated by ridesharing drivers. In 2016, an Uber driver shot and killed 6 people while on the job in Kalamazoo.

Both Lyft and Uber have emergency response buttons in their app. Drivers can also look at the rating of their passenger and decide whether or not to take the ride.

“You probably have about 5 to 10 seconds or not. And if you don’t accept the trip your rating does down," D'Andre pointed out.

Action News reached out to Lyft and Uber about their no firearms policy in the wake of recent attacks on metro Detroit drivers.

In a statement, Lyft spokesperson said:

"The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft and the incidents described are frightening. We have been in touch with the drivers involved to offer our support and will assist law enforcement to help in any way we can."

A spokesperson for Uber did not comment specifically on this personnel matter, however, they clarified that it's "no weapons" policy laid out in its community guidelines applies to drivers nationwide, regardless of a state's concealed carry laws.

We asked an Uber spokesperson if the company is looking re-evaluate its policy, they did not respond.