Brady Sues Smith & Wesson for Murder Committed with an M&P Sport

The S&W M&P 15 Sporter II was the rifle used in the murder.

Emboldened by the partial success of a similar lawsuit against Remington, the gun control group Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has launched a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson for what it calls “irresponsible and unlawful conduct by a firearms manufacturer and seller for making, marketing, or selling weapons in an unsafe and illegal manner.”

The suit was filed in San Diego Superior Court. It arises from an April 2019 incident in which a 20-year-old man who had made anti-Semitic statements killed one person at Chabad of Poway synagogue and wounded three others. He used a Smith & Wesson Model M&P 15 Sport II to commit the crime.

Plaintiffs have also accused San Diego Guns of unlawfully selling the man the rifle, his parents for facilitating their son’s behavior, and California’s Fish and Wildlife Department for not conducting a proper background check.

The suit alleges that Smith & Wesson’s rifle could be easily modified into an “assault weapon” in violation of California law or to “fire automatically,” according to a statement from Brady. The group also claims the gun maker “marketed the rifle in violation of California’s unfair business practices law, in a manner attractive to customers like the shooter, young men predisposed to violence.”

“The victims and survivors of this Passover shooting are bringing suit because they do not want another family or congregation, of any faith, to suffer as theirs did,” said Brady’s Chief Legal Counsel Jonathan Lowy. “Dealers should sell guns legally and carefully. Manufacturers shouldn’t design, market and sell assault weapons to attract and facilitate would-be mass shooters.”

SEE ALSO: Supreme Court Allows Sandy Hook Suit to Proceed Against Remington

Brady’s statement mentions a similar lawsuit against Remington, which it says was “upheld” in a Connecticut court. In reality, the suit was all but dismissed, as GunsAmerica reported in March 2019. The courts threw out each of the plaintiffs’ claims except one that alleged improper marketing practices. The Connecticut Supreme Court allowed that portion of the suit to move forward, but it has not yet been litigated.

This lawsuit against Smith & Wesson uses almost identical language to the suit against Remington. It claims the gun maker should be held accountable for “irresponsible” marketing practices that allegedly attract militaristic young men prone to violence.

The suit also claims that San Diego Guns should be liable for selling the murderer the rifle he used in the crime. According to ABC 10 News San Diego, California law makes it illegal to sell a firearm to anyone under the age of 21 unless that person has completed a hunter’s safety course.

The suspect completed a hunter’s course on the same day he purchased the rifle, and presumably showed the gun shop employees the certificate of completion that law enforcement found in his bedroom. But the license was not actually valid until July.

SEE ALSO: Exclusive: New Brady Campaign Ad Uses Misleading, Trumped-Up Stats to Push Safe Storage

The executive director of San Diego County Gun Owners PAC told Times of San Diego: “What happened to the synagogue and those who attended is horrific. The lawsuit they are filing, in part, is asinine in that they are blaming the gun shop and manufacturer for the actions of a highly disturbed monster.

“The gun shop followed state law to the letter and communicated with the California DOJ flawlessly,” said Michael Schwartz, the group’s leader. “The hunting license presented in order to purchase the firearm was legal, legitimate, issued by California, contained all required information, and was unaltered so therefore was valid.”

He continued: “The manufacturer is no more to blame than Ford or Chrysler is to blame for drunk driving. They are also legally protected by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. This is settled law which makes naming them as plaintiffs frivolous. I hope the victims are able to find peace through other means rather than following the advice of those who only want profit.”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Kurt Bresler December 18, 2020, 12:14 pm

    We should all thank the NRA and other people and organizations which fight this insanity in the courts. If these lawsuits are successful against us then soon we will have no guns at all.

    The Democrat party has vowed to take our guns and when Biden gets in office on the 20th the hell will begin., The NRA will need tremendous support to stop it.

  • Vic June 21, 2020, 3:44 pm

    As someone here said, let them taste their own medicine.
    Sue Bloomberg for something that negatively affected someone life after statement in Bloomberg news etc.

  • Paul June 21, 2020, 10:17 am

    In regard to Bill’s sarcastic response, Mom’s Demand, MADD, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are all cut of the same cloth. They want to regulate every aspect of historical and traditional MALE life. Just like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union tried a hundred years ago. Make no mistake. They do not want you to be able to go faster than 50 mph. They really don’t want you to drive at all unless you are a soccer mom with a brood of kids in a mini van. You as a violent, drunken worthless male are “supposed” to take “mass transit” where you can sit crammed in with those with whom you never would voluntarily associate, maybe catch Coronavirus in the process. This is not meant as sarcasm.

    • MichaelH September 10, 2021, 2:05 pm

      While I agree these suits are stupid, your comment seems to suggest you’re speaking for the INCEL contingent of gun owners. Not really a good look for purponents of responsible gun ownership.

  • Daniel June 21, 2020, 9:27 am

    Does this mean we can sue the auto manufactures for drunk drivers, Also the food processors for obesity ?
    How about the Collages for turning our children against America. Or would that be just the professors ? How about the post office for delivering anything that upsets you ?
    This is part of the Dems/Commies agenda to disarm Patriotic Americans. Then they like Hitler can have their way with Americans. Just like Hitler did with the Jews.
    If you don’t believe that is their agenda do a little research.

  • Easy Eddie June 20, 2020, 9:49 pm

    So, if the young man had constructed a bomb and had ten times the bodycount, what would the Brady Campaign’s response be? Yeah. Thought so. These people are vermin.

  • David Boerboom June 20, 2020, 12:49 am

    Marketing eh? ….and the such… I wonder when SONY, & MicroSoft are going to be held liable for producing EXTREMELY violent and smut filled conceptual video games? Games of abducting raping and killing hookers, stealing cars & running down pedestrians, storming the beaches of Normandy, kicking in doors, etc? When are we going to hold Hollywood accountable for the SMUT they are making? The cattle don’t approve of guns, yet are sitting in that theater every Friday night, watching that action packed, gun filled, human obliterating, car crashing, building exploding, sex fest…. Yet… Guns are bad, mmmkay… TVs obsession with cops and the military….whos watching this garage? Same ppl that believe only the gov should have the guns, I guess… Prolly watching blue bloods n wackin it… I’m Bloomberg, and I approve this past time.

  • Stan d. Upnow June 19, 2020, 8:32 pm

    Notice the pukes always are working to prevent “gun violence.” But, do they Ever go after the wackjobs that perpetrate that violence? NO! All they ever do is attack guns, gun owners, gun manufactures, and gun groups.
    Their Real motives are clear to anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

    What happened is, once again, a tragedy. However, pursuing such a lawsuit can only be for one thing, from the family’s perspective– money. That sickens me.

  • Mark - IN. June 19, 2020, 7:34 pm

    It reminds me of a cartoon that I saw years ago where an elderly anti-2nd Amendment liberal leftist was holding up a sign that all guns need to be made illegal. Next to him was a much younger chubby pro-2nd Amendment guy holding up a sign that said “Spoons made me fat”.

  • Dennis R Ellsworth June 19, 2020, 5:42 pm

    Automakers should take notice and be afraid. You know, Granddad was killed by a drunk driver in a Dodge. Sue Dodge? Where will this end?

  • Beachhawk June 19, 2020, 4:28 pm

    The slimy lawyers hired by the gun control fanatics are just “hired guns” out for a fast buck with no moral principles to guide them. They keep throwing the same crap against the courthouse wall to see what will stick and they prey upon the emotions of the victims and the juries. There is a special place in Hell waiting for them.

    • MichaelH September 10, 2021, 2:18 pm

      Until you need one because someone somehow caused injury to yo.

  • TOPP June 19, 2020, 3:47 pm

    “So this will never happen to another family” is the liberals worn out code for “its about the MONEY, its only about the MONEY”

    • MichaelH September 10, 2021, 2:23 pm

      Sure. The relatives want redress for the actual and emotional damages done by the taking of a loved one’s life and the shooter doesn’t have anything. At the same time all business success or failure is judged by money and almost every single consumer safety feature of every product in commerce is based on fear of injuring consumers who will sue. That’s a pretty spectacular public good that plaintiff’s lawyers are responsible for. Sure the dumb suits like this one get tossed, but money changes corporate behavior.

  • glenn sammon-USCCA instructor. June 19, 2020, 1:32 pm

    what the gun companies need to start doing is start sueing these communist back. sue them for harresment, get there lawyers working on countersues. the NRA sued Commiefornia for telling everyone that the NRA was a terrorist organization. and won lets start giving them there own medicine. hit them in their wallet enough of times they will shut up. and remember to VOTE for people who protect your rights. and call them and tell them ( nicely) when they do something you thought did not represent your views. most people do not do that, they just complain. voice your opinion. just like the otherside does.

  • jedd June 19, 2020, 12:07 pm

    Excellent closing statement by Michael Schwartz…

    I have made similar analogies to “rational, yet anti-gun adults”. When your child gets hit by a drunk driver… is it GMs fault, Budweisers, or the BP that sold him the gas?”

    Surprisingly, the Light bulb goes ON sometimes.

    • GaryGary June 19, 2020, 2:41 pm

      BRAVO ! Excellent analogy ! The courts are making law these days and ruining and destroying our Republic.

  • Jaque June 19, 2020, 10:22 am

    If this gets to the Supreme Court S&W hasnt got a chance. Chief Justice Roberts will vote with his comrades

    I wonder why no one has investigated Roberts for anything in his background that would force him removal.

    Why havnt the Republicans done a Kavanaugh on Roberts ?

    Roberts is now known as a communist and co conspirator to the communists on the court. His rulings prove he was a phony conservative, a RINO.

    • Stan d. Upnow June 19, 2020, 8:37 pm

      This lifetime appointment to the SCOTUS is as much BS as are no term limits in Congress. Of course, the self-serving bastids will Never kill the Golden Goose.

  • Kevin McCarthy June 19, 2020, 10:05 am

    So, this means when selling the Ford Mustang or Dodge Challenger or Charger an advertisement must have a little old man or lady behind the wheel doing 45mph in a 65mph zone? Because any photography or video that depicts them as ‘going fast’ would automatically incite all people to do 180mph in school zones?

    Our country is going to hell in a huge handbasket

    • bill June 19, 2020, 12:33 pm

      in agreement with the thought process of these anti bill of rights actions, I dont see the need for ANY motorized vehicle capable of going faster than 50 MPH and if they do the manufacturer and/or the person who causes it to do so should be jailed.

      • Stan d. Upnow June 19, 2020, 8:39 pm

        You are simply a jackass.

      • Stan d. Upnow June 19, 2020, 8:46 pm

        …unless that was your attempt at sarcasm. If so, it needs some work.

  • John Legere June 19, 2020, 7:43 am

    This is like blaming the spoon or fork because you are fat.

    • Stan d. Upnow June 19, 2020, 8:42 pm

      Good point. I just had my lawyer file a $250million lawsuit against Oneida, since I used their tableware to gain 15lbs. 🙂

  • Garry Yeager June 19, 2020, 6:58 am

    Sounds like Bloomberg and his money is hard at work.Why can’t he spend that money on something constructive like feed hungry families and if does now he can increase his donates instead of spending it on taking law abiding citizen rights away

  • Garry Yeager June 19, 2020, 6:51 am

    How does a person behavior and believes have to do with guns and gun manufacturers? The manufacturer does not control morality and believes,they make a product which is just an object.I believe it is the person responsibility how they behave not Smith & Wesson.I own a S&W AR15 Tactical and the rifle has not made me kill someone or want to kill.
    I wonder how many owners of S&W AR15 did not kill someone?

  • Todd June 19, 2020, 6:14 am

    Holy bologna Matman

  • Mark N. June 19, 2020, 2:05 am

    Unless they can establish that the shooter bought this particular rifle because of advertising he read, as opposed to the price, they don’t have a case. And since he is facing multiple state felonies and federal charges potentially carrying a death penalty, this guy isn’t going to be testifying any time in the foreseeable future.

  • SuperG June 18, 2020, 10:19 am

    Ted Strelesky murdered his math professor with a hammer, yet I saw no lawsuits against the manufacturer of the hammer. If some entity should be sued, it should be the state government for ignoring the issue of mental health. If I throw a rock and kill someone, will everyone blame the rock?

    • bill June 19, 2020, 12:28 pm

      of course they won’t .. it would not fit the agenda of the communist/socialist democrat traitors in the various state governments and 5 of the anti american SCOTUS members.

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