The United States Air Force has announced that it has already launched an investigation to find out why the criminal records for Devin Patrick Kelly, the shooter who killed 26 church-goers in Sutherland Springs, weren't forwarded to the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System. According to application forms acquired [more]
Sutherland Springs, Texas - A lone gunman opened fire inside a church during service in a small town in Texas killing at least 26 people and injuring 20 others. The gunman was later identified as 26-year old Devin Patrick Kelley, a former member of the US Air Force. Kelley had [more]
Gun-related shooting incidents have historically caused sudden spikes in firearm sales. The latest incident in Las Vegas, which has been described to be one of the deadliest in the country's history, seems to follow the morbid trend as citizens flock to gun stores to stockpile firearms in case of a [more]
It isn't clear just yet if the threat of impending nuclear war has something to do with it, but US citizens seem to continually be arming themselves. The latest figures from the NICS background check system, which was recently posted by the FBI, shows that August has set yet another [more]
A state representative in Upper Peninsula of Michigan has just introduced a controversial new bill that has ignited conversations amongst residents. The new bill will essentially allow legal firearm owners with concealed carry permits to take their guns in previously gun-free zones such as schools and other establishments. The proposal [more]
With the prominence of social media and online services, tourists are now becoming more comfortable using online marketplaces for their travel plans. Airbnb is one such service that is becoming quite popular here in the country. In fact, Americans are spending millions of dollars within the app itself as staying [more]
Uber, a 5-year-old company that has raised about $2.7 billion in cash and is valued by investors at over $40 billion, is in the limelight these days. It is expanding at breakneck speed, hiring thousands of drivers in more than 250 cities worldwide, with rumors of an eventual public offering.
Uber champions its “industry-leading standards” for vetting its drivers. On its website, it describes its background checks as “often more rigorous” than those in the traditional taxi industry.
On Monday, a Dutch court banned UberPop, the company’s low-cost service, from operating in the Netherlands; that same day, the city of Portland, Oregon, sued Uber, saying it was operating an “illegal, unregulated transportation service.” In Spain on Tuesday, a judge issued a temporary ban against Uber’s operations after protests from the country’s taxi associations.
This year, an Uber driver who had been convicted of reckless driving in Florida was arrested in San Francisco in the death of a 6-year-old girl. The child’s family filed a wrongful-death suit. On Monday, the driver was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.
Last year, an Uber driver was accused of assaulting a passenger in San Francisco; he had been previously convicted of a felony drug charge, an offense that should have disqualified him from working for Uber under its own procedures.
At the same time, the rigor of Uber’s checks has come into question. On Monday, Uber was banned in New Delhi, India, after a driver was accused of raping a customer; New Delhi authorities said the driver, who was previously accused of raping another female passenger in 2011, was not properly vetted by Uber.
In statehouses across the country, Uber has fought against legislation requiring background checks as strong as those demanded of traditional taxis. Other ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Sidecar, Uber’s chief rivals, have also pushed against the laws, but supporters of stronger background checks say Uber has been by far the most aggressive.
In Colorado, the company helped persuade lawmakers to ease drivers’ background checks in a bill that legalized ride-sharing companies. Uber spent about $60,000 on lobbyists to support legislation that in June made the state one of the first to legalize companies like Uber and Lyft. That law does not require such drivers to undergo the same strict fingerprint checks required of taxi and limousine drivers.
In Illinois, after a lobbying push, Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed a bill that would have forced Uber to strengthen those checks.
And in California, Uber and other companies like it helped kill a law that would have required drivers to undergo a background check by the state’s justice department, as is required of taxi drivers.