The surge in violent crime nationwide has inspired a former bodyguard to launch a ride-sharing app that features armed drivers — with plans for a Big Apple launch within the next four months.
Kerry King Brown — a 32-year-old former private investigator who worked for Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — is the brains behind Black Wolf, a startup that currently has around 15 cars servicing the Metro Atlanta area.
“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.
Brown told The Post that he got the idea for the app by expanding his original business, which included transportation lines for schools.
“It expanded as I put a little more time and effort into it,” he said.
Brown said his focus was on “how can I make this for the everyday people?”
The company is looking to staff drivers who have had experience in either law enforcement, private security, or the military, Brown told The Post.
“We want retired officers,” he said.
“We want guys who have been in the military or private sector so it’s not just cops.”
Brown told The Post that “an average person” who has no background in handling a gun would have to go through “detailed training” in order to get hired.
“We have to bring them up to speed to the formality of how we operate,” he said. “We cannot just hire any and everybody.”
He said that rising crime in large cities is helping to fuel demand for the app.
“Does the crime help? Yeah, it does,” he said. “I’m creating something that solves a problem.”
“People are understanding that this is needed.”
Brown said that there are plans to expand into other markets, including Los Angeles, Dallas, and Miami.
“We’re doing our homework,” he said.