Georgia lawmaker files rideshare carry bill

One Georgia lawmaker and Uber driver believe the company's policy prohibiting drivers from carrying firearms leaves them vulnerable and he has proposed a law to change that.

State Representative Scot Turner, R-Holly Springs, filed House Bill 74, which would make it illegal for rideshare companies to bar their drivers from having a gun if they have a concealed carry permit in Georgia.  Both Lyft and Uber have policies against drivers and passengers being armed.

"The current policy is turning rideshare drivers into sitting ducks and they know it," Rep. Turner explained.

Many drivers support the idea.

"You just never know what area you're going to be picking up in and... who the type of person is that you're picking up," said Natasha Andrews, an Uber and Lyft driver.  "If we're being vulnerable to allow people to get into our car, we should be able to protect ourselves if something goes wrong." 

According to the Atlanta Police Department, seven rideshare drivers were carjacked in 2018 and two more were robbed. The numbers, however, could be higher, because APD does not keep specific rideshare crime statistics. Those numbers only reflect the reports where the officer recorded the victim's occupation.

"Even if they don't carry, drivers that don't will have a benefit from those who do because people won't consider them a soft target anymore," said Rep. Turner.

Neither Lyft nor Uber returned requests for comment on the legislation.