The photo above is for illustrative purposes and not from this incident.
Just after UBER announced that firearms will be banned for riders and its drivers, while using their services, an UBER driver in Queens was robbed at gun point last Wednesday.
According to the New York Daily News, the Uber driver stopped for up a 22-year-old man “on 67th Ave. and Burns St. in Rego Park just after midnight.” The two negotiated a price then the man got in the car, only to allegedly point a rifle at the driver and demand all his money.
The driver handed over $60 and the 22-year-old suspect jumped out of the car and fled.
The driver was not injured in the incident and Uber says they are investigating.
I find this interesting. Of course people will jump all over UBER and chant “TOLD YOU SO” however there are other factors. There is no doubting that banning legal firearms is a bad idea, but lets focus on where this crime happened. It happened in Queens, NY. Queens is one of the five boroughs of NYC. Which means NYC law rules over those areas. More specifically, firearm laws and restrictions. NYC requires a Firearm License for all legal firearms. Not just handguns and according to the incident, the suspect used a rifle. Which means he would have had to had a Firearm License if he was a legal firearm owner. Probably not but let’s explore what is involved with getting that License.
According to the NYPD website, there are a few things needed to get this license/permit.
First of all, self defense is not a worthy explanation to have a firearm, unless you are rich or famous. It always comes down to money.
If you intend to apply for a license related to your employment, profession, or business, you may ask to speak to an application reviewer who will screen your application and documents, and will assist you in determining the type of license you appear to be eligible for.
So people with money and influence are given special treatment and consideration over ordinary people.
There are five different types of license. Three of them are specific for businesses. One is for bodyguards and the last one is for hunting and recreation. It shows their priorities.
CARRY BUSINESS LICENSE: This is an unrestricted class of license which permits the carrying of a handgun concealed on the person. It is valid for the business name, address, and handguns listed on the front of the license. It is not transferable to any other person, business, occupation, or address, without the written approval of the commanding officer, license division.
LIMITED CARRY BUSINESS LICENSE: IS A RESTRICTED TYPE OF LICENSE. The licensee may only carry handguns indicated on the license in accordance with the specific limitations listed thereon. At all other times the weapon must be safeguarded within the confines of the business address listed on the front of the license either concealed on the licensee’s person in a proper holster or stored unloaded in a locked safe.
SPECIAL CARRY LICENSE: Is valid for the business name, address and handguns listed on the front of this license, only while the licensee has in his possession a valid basic county license issued according to the provisions of article 400 of the N.Y.S. Penal law. Upon the revocation, suspension, or cancellation of the basic license, the special license is rendered void and must be immediately returned to the license division.
CARRY GUARD LICENSE: (SECURITY GUARDS, ETC.) Applications for this type of license must be made with the documentation provided by a company’s Gun Custodian. It is issued only for the handgun listed on the license. The handgun may be carried only while the licensee is actively engaged in employment for the company whose name appears on the license, and/or while licensee is in transit directly to or from residence and place of employment. At all other times the handgun must be stored unloaded in a locked container, at either the address on the license, or at the employee’s legal residence (within the State of New York).
PREMISES LICENSE: IS A RESTRICTED TYPE OF LICENSE. It is issued for your RESIDENCE or BUSINESS. The Licensee may possess a handgun ONLY on the premises of the address indicated on the front of the license. Licensees may also transport their handguns and ammunition in SEPARATE LOCKED CONTAINERS, DIRECTLY to and from an authorized range, or hunting location. HANDGUNS MUST BE UNLOADED while being transported.
The fees to file for the license is $340 and $91.50 for fingerprinting. Non-refundable if you do not pass.
What does this have to do with this current mugging? It is in a location where the majority of people are defenseless. There is a higher percentage that a robber will come across an unarmed victim in NYC.
If UBER did not ban legal firearms for its drivers and riders, I do not think it would have made much difference in this case. It would be highly unlikely that the UBER driver would have a Handgun License let alone a handgun for self defense in NYC.
While this irony is perfectly timed to UBER’s shift in policy, it would propably have happened anyway.
There are some details to this incident that raises questions. UBER does not negotiate prices. Also criminals are not the brightest in the bunch but UBER drivers are not paid in cash. UBER and LYFT services operate using credit cards via their app. Money never exchanges hands between the driver and passenger. So an UBER driver is not exactly an ideal victim.
How did the driver not see a rifle when he drove up to pick up the suspect? Even if he parked and the suspect came up to the car, how did he not see the rilfe?