Florida Uber driver files lawsuit to protect gun rights

An Uber driver filed suit in federal court earlier this month arguing his right to bear arms trumps the ride service’s policy banning users from carrying firearms.

Jose Mejia, who started driving for Uber in the greater Miami-Dade area last year, has a Florida license to carry a concealed weapon and said he wants to bring his gun with him in the often high-crime areas he transits, but argues the company’s no-firearm policy prevents it.

Citing Florida’s 2008 law protecting guns in motor vehicles, Mejia filed suit in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale seeking a class action against Uber to overturn its policy.

As noted in the filing, in June 2015, Uber changed its policy to prohibit both drivers and riders from carrying guns. Users who violate the policy can lose access to the app-based program while drivers can be deactivated for violating the Uber code of conduct on a temporary or permanent basis.

“It’s very unfortunate when you have a huge corporation like this making money on the backs of others, and then, on top of that, they allow these individuals to be in precarious situations,” Mejia told the Miami New Times.

Mejia pointed to the case of Namique Anderson, a 29-year-old Uber driver who violated the company’s strict no-weapons policy and fatally shot a would-be robber in nearby Aventura, Florida last year. While an investigation cleared the driver as being a justified instance of self-defense, he still faced review from the ride service.

Prior to the Anderson shooting, an Uber driver in Boca Raton survived an armed robbery after taking a bullet to his hat brim and a 74-year-old driver in Clearwater shot his passenger in the foot while he was being choked.

Mejia’s lawsuit seeks to stop Uber from enforcing its policy and to collect damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.