If you’re a regular reader here at Bearing Arms, you’ve seen or heard me talk about Uber and Lyft’s driver (and passenger) disarmament policies that force contracted drivers to go unarmed in order to stay in the good graces of the companies. Even when drivers have been forced to use their gun in self-defense, they’ve been quickly cut loose from Uber and Lyft because they dared to have their legally-carried firearm with them while they’re doing a dangerous job.
Given the large number of carjackings, murders, and other targeted crimes against rideshare drivers, I find it unconscionable that these companies are putting drivers at risk by demanding they get behind the wheel without the means to defend themselves from an attack, and I refuse to use either platform until their policies change. Admittedly, it’s easier for me to take that stand since I live in a rural area and have little need for a rideshare service to begin with, but I know that there are plenty of other gun owners out there who try to avoid these companies whenever possible.
Now we may soon have another choice, at least for those gun owners and Second Amendment supporters who live in New York and Atlanta. A new rideshare app called Black Wolf has just launched, and company founder Kerry KingBrown says riders can choose to have an armed driver behind the wheel if that’s what they prefer.
“Who are mostly on the news getting robbed, getting raped? The average person,” Brown told Atlanta News First. “What I’m creating is a necessary evil. It’s a necessity.”
In the week since it has launched, there have been some 80,000 downloads, according to Atlanta First News.
“Every Black Wolf App vehicle comes equipped with GPS Tracking and Live-streaming technology that allows our riders to share with their loved ones,” the company says on its Facebook page.
The app, which utilizes real-time data to let others know of the riders’ locations, charges a premium rate to ride with a driver who is armed.
Riders pay a base rate of $50 for an unarmed driver in addition to $1.75 per mile. A driver who is packing heat would set a rider back $60 as a base rate followed by a rate of $1.75 per mile.
The Black Wolf ride sharing app requires drivers to pass a background check and undergo training on how to handle a firearm as well as de-escalation.
Brown, a Long Island native, aspires to bring the service to the Big Apple — but New York City’s strict gun laws could complicate those plans.
He said that he is looking to enter the New York City market with help from a “connection” — a detective in the NYPD who has his own security company and provides training for drivers.
Brown acknowledged the strict gun laws that make it difficult to obtain a permit to carry a firearm.
It’s definitely going to be a challenge to bring Black Wolf to the Big Apple, but Brown has already launched a fleet of fifteen vehicles in Atlanta. The service may be more expensive than an UberX or a Lyft ride, but Brown is banking on the idea that many riders would prefer to have some extra security while they’re on the road.
I’ve reached out to Black Wolf and hope to bring Kerry KingBrown on Cam & Co in the near future to talk more about the company and his plans. It sounds like a worthy addition to the rideshare companies that are already operating, and a huge step forward for driver (and passenger) safety.