Canadian Judge Rules Smith & Wesson May Be Liable for 2018 Shooting

The perpetrator of the mass murder used a stolen M&P 40.

A judge in Canada ruled this week that Smith & Wesson may be liable for a 2018 shooting because the gun company failed to implement “smart gun” technology.

The suit is being brought by the victims of a 2018 mass shooting in Toronto that left two people dead and 13 injured. The perpetrator used a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson M&P handgun that had been stolen from a gun shop, but the judge ruled that the gun company may still be liable.

“The immediate case may demonstrate that there came a time when it was careless for Smith & Wesson not to utilize invented authorized user technology, of which there were many types, some of which Smith & Wesson invented and patented,” Judge Paul Perell of the Superior Court of Ontario said in his decision allowing the case to move forward.

Smith & Wesson did not immediately respond to a GunsAmerica request for comment.

Nicolas Johnson, who runs the pro-gun website TheGunBlog.ca, said in an interview with GunsAmerica that the case defies reason.

“Logic and reason would dictate that the case is a non-starter. But logic and reason don’t always win,” he said. “The lawsuit is like a cliche we make fun of. Blaming a firearm maker for causing injuries is like blaming a fork maker for causing obesity or blaming a pencil maker for causing typos.”

SEE ALSO: Never Enough: Canadians Press for More Gun Control, Including Total Handgun Ban

Smith & Wesson argued as much in their petition to dismiss the case. The incident occurred, they said, not due to their alleged negligence but to the criminal acts of the killer.

They also pointed out that an ultimate ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would have “industry shattering consequences.” So-called “smart gun” technology exists but is not a viable option for major gun manufacturers. It is cost prohibitive, and it has not been proven to be reliable.

Judge Perell insisted that the plaintiffs should have their day in court.

“The difficulty… for Smith & Wesson in advancing this argument is that in the immediate case, there was a precaution that could have been taken to avail itself against the volition of Mr. Hussain shooting those innocents on the Danforth,” he said. “The precaution that could have been taken is the implementation of authorized user technology.”

SEE ALSO: Biden Should Look to Canada to See the Mess of Confiscating Guns

This isn’t the first lawsuit in recent years to gain traction against a gun manufacturer over their alleged role in mass murders.

In 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit to move forward against Remington for their alleged role in the Sandy Hook mass murder. In that suit, the plaintiffs argue that Remington’s advertising practices contributed to the murderer’s decision to kill 26 people in 2012.

The parents of a woman killed in the Las Vegas massacre launched a similar lawsuit against Colt the same year.

“It was only a question of when – not if – a gunman would take advantage of the ease of modifying AR-15s to fire automatically in order to substantially increase the body count during a mass shooting,” the lawsuit states, according to the Associated Press. “Having created the conditions that made a mass shooting with a modified AR-15 inevitable, Defendant Manufacturers continued conducting business as usual.”

The case against Smith & Wesson will continue to the second stage, the judge said.

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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.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • kc (sire/your majesty) February 22, 2021, 1:50 pm

    On second thought, maybe they should sue smart gun manufacturers for not making weapons as smart as a “dumb” M&P. They know or should have known that if they don’t make a superior product, nobody will buy it, and as long as people don’t buy it, we’ll all be at risk. Their failure is costing lives…

  • charles schisler February 20, 2021, 7:21 am

    What about the Canadian government admitting and coddling Muslims like Hussain? If they want to spread their stupid but insidious blame jam around, better shove some in their own direction. A manufacturer’s job is to produce quality products that function as intended, and their M&P did so.

  • Rick O'Shay February 19, 2021, 3:54 pm

    First off a Canadian judge has no jurisdiction over foreign companies or affairs and guns dont shoot people people shoot people so go after the criminal who used the gun. Why dont we counter sue Canada for their whiskey killing people due to dui.

  • Special K February 19, 2021, 11:15 am

    2nd amendment is the right to have and bare arms.Young kids don’t know enough about Ars Aks auto rifles that they can be totally safe. They can barely hang on to the recoil never mind the engagement of the targeted still mass they shoot at. They go to our club in central PA, and they cause fear. However , to defend our military trained members , I would stand beside them as they deliver all the settings on that Ak-47 as they fire. It is their training. Criminals – never! It is all about reason, training , fluidity skills in weaponry . Those that find it is too wild to stand by the AR shooter, needs to have training by a mature firearm specialist at least with a few hundred rounds of side by side shooting. Seen drunk applicants, those with series mental issues, violent histories, all true but got an at rifle .That needs to be cleaned up. Special K

  • Godfrey Daniel February 19, 2021, 10:53 am

    Canadian anti gunners are just as stupid as the ones in the U. S.

  • kc (sire/your majesty) February 19, 2021, 10:31 am

    I don’t have a problem with this, as long as judges get to serve the time of any repeat offenders who weren’t given a maximum sentence and pay restitution to the victim’s families. They knew or should have known that they would probably reoffend.

  • Rob February 19, 2021, 10:03 am

    So how does “ smart gun technology “ work ? If it uses finger prints in order for the firearm to operate, my side arm wouldn’t work 7 out of 10 times. The work I do tears up my hands and every item that I own that requires my finger print to access it doesn’t work.

  • Russ February 19, 2021, 9:57 am

    What about suing the miners who dug the ore that made the steel that made the gun!??!? Lets get to the source!

  • Godfrey Washington February 19, 2021, 8:57 am

    I’m starting a class action suit against belt, wooden spoon and flip flop manufacturers for creating implements for child abuse. Also cited will be EPA for protecting Jesus’ creation of the switch. No more should those with PTSD live in fear of small tree limbs or bad behavior!

  • Gary Metzger February 19, 2021, 8:55 am

    Common sense has left the building!
    The libs are in such a hurry to judge and convict ANY thing/body that they make up shit as they go along!
    eg
    Sue Gun manufactures or Auto manufactures, knife manufactures, the company that grows a tree that a 2×4 came from, (broken) bottle manufacturers, manufactures of razor blades, hammer manufactures……
    Nobody….NO BODY…..wants to say those to ugly and VERY TRUTHFUL….mental health!
    If someone wants to do destruction (killings) bad enough….they’ll find a “tool” to accomplish that mission…period.
    It’s so easy to point that finger at the tool instead of the USER!
    It’s stupidity…plain and simple…or maybe even politically correct BS

  • Walt morris February 19, 2021, 8:48 am

    The stupidity of the judiciary and liberal politicians is beyond belief! Maybe if these useful idiots had not gone to college to be brainwashed the could see how ridiculous they are. Someone hit me with a Wayne Gretzky hockey stick. Does that mean I can sue Gretzky??!!

    • Jim February 19, 2021, 10:09 am

      Absolutely.
      In your example, you can sue Wayne Gretzky, sue the manufacturer of the hockey stick, if there is any sports tape on the handle then you get to sue that company, you sue the store that sold it, sue the property owner that the store was on, sue the sales clerk, sue the distributor, sue the transportation company that delivered them to the store, sue the delivery driver, sue the guy that designed it, sue the city/county/state for allowing it to be sold, sue the police for allowing it to be stolen, sue every hockey team owner, sue every hockey stadium owner, and finally sue the family of the guy that invented hockey.
      That should take about 100years of court time but the settlement should be about $500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or somewhere around that.

      • T-Road February 19, 2021, 1:36 pm

        Isn’t litigation a wonderful thing ! Where would we be without lawyers willing to sue anybody for anything ? Thank evolution for the status which lawyers have attained. Without evolution, lawyers would still be slithering around under rocks, and logs with other slimey invertebrates.

  • Shawn February 19, 2021, 7:46 am

    Auto makers could prevent theft and subsequent misuse, sometimes leading to injury and death, by equipping all cars with authorized user technology so that only the owner could operate the car. And, given the problem of vehicles operated by impaired persons, doesn’t it make sense that all cars be required to have breathalyzers and computer labs to analyze the operator for alcohol and drugs? And a computer link to the insurance company to verify car insurance? These would be required prior to each attempted start of the car. Death by auto cases occur far more often than gun deaths.

  • Ron February 19, 2021, 6:32 am

    McVeigh has already proven that normal items can be combined to create devastating and horrific results. Why are they not trying to ban fertilizer or diesel fuel? These Left judges are not applying the law but their own perspectives. Hopefully the suit in the US of suing a gun manufacturer will eventually be tossed as this article was about an instance in Canada.

  • Lumpy Rutherford February 19, 2021, 3:17 am

    I think that in defending against the cases in the USA, as a defense atty (which I’m not) I think I’d subpoena the birth and death certificates of all allegedly killed in the mass shootings–especially Sandy Hook to make certain that the “dead” victims actually lived, and actually died. My understanding is that it is this strategy that caused the “father” of one of the alleged “dead” children to withdraw his lawsuit against Wolfgang Halbig.

  • Brad February 18, 2021, 5:45 pm

    So, what’s next? Suing car manufacturers because of drunk drivers?

    • Chuck Mackey February 19, 2021, 8:13 am

      No. They will be suing distillers for making the liquor!

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