AUSTIN (KXAN) — Daniel Perry, the rideshare driver and active-duty Fort Hood soldier whose attorney said shot and killed Garrett Foster on July 25, was carrying a gun while out on fares.
The legality of simply having a concealed weapon isn’t in question — police said Perry had a permit to carry a concealed weapon — and while it’s not clear what rideshare company Perry drove for, the two largest that operate in Austin have policies that don’t allow drivers to have them.
Uber and Lyft both take positions against drivers carrying weapons. Lyft says it doesn’t allow drivers to carry weapons while working or “representing the company,” the company says on its website.
“Even in places where it is legal to carry a weapon, we ask that you do not carry a weapon on Lyft property,” the policy continues, “the mere presence of a weapon might make another community member distressed and fear for his or her own personal safety.”
Uber, meanwhile, says drivers can’t carry a weapon while using the app. They make exceptions if the driver is transporting a gun using Transportation Security Administration protocol, meaning the weapon is unloaded and locked in a rigid container in the trunk.
There have been two rideshare shootings in Austin over the past 10 days that resulted in injuries of passengers, both involving Lyft vehicles. The latest happened Friday morning on U.S. Highway 183 near Burnet Road where a passenger was shot, but is expected to recover. The driver wasn’t shot, and also wasn’t carrying a gun.
Lyft sent KXAN a statement about the shooting:
The safety of our Austin community is fundamental to Lyft. We’ve been in touch with the driver and rider involved in this incident and stand ready to assist law enforcement as needed.Lyft Public Relations
The other shooting happened July 21 on Webberville Road. The driver heard shots and sped off, only to learn that one of the shots went through the trunk of the car and hit the passenger. The car stopped the bullet enough that it just left a welt on the passenger’s body, the driver said.
That driver was also not carrying a gun.