Toronto Victims Sue Smith & Wesson for $150 Million

Could smart gun technology have kept a mentally ill man from killing two people? Canadians think so. (Photo: Levi Sim)

Victims of a 2018 shooting in Toronto, Ontario, are suing Smith and Wesson, the company that manufactured the shooter’s gun. Their claim is that S&W didn’t incorporate smart technology that could have prevented the shooting.


On July 22, 2018, a shooter opened fire on a restaurant and killed a 10-year old girl and an 18-year old woman. Thirteen others were also injured in the attack. The Guardian reports that the man’s handgun had been stolen from a gun dealer in Saskatchewan, two provinces and at least 1,500 miles away. There were at least 24 handguns stolen that day, according to Global News.

Shooter Was Mentally Ill

Global News reports in an anonymous interview with a former teacher that the shooter aspired to kill someone.

“Ten years ago when he was in my class, and I asked him what does he want to do he said to me, ‘Oh I want to kill someone’ and I said, ‘Are you kidding me? Why? What did they do to you?’ he said, ‘Oh nothing, I just feel it would be really cool to kill somebody. [sic]'”

The police had investigated him 3 times in the past regarding his mental health. His own family released a statement saying he had been ill for a long time.

“We are utterly devastated by the incomprehensible news that our son was responsible for the senseless violence and loss of life that took place on the Danforth,” the family said. “While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end.” He killed himself during a shootout with the police.

Brother Was A Drug Trafficker With Guns

The shooter’s older brother has been arrested for drug trafficking, according to Global News. He was arrested in Saskatchewan, the same province where the handgun was reportedly stolen. At the time of the shooting, the older brother was in a coma following a drug overdose in Toronto. When paramedics responded to save him, they alerted the police about a suspicious substance in the house.

The police found 42 kilograms (92 pounds) of the extremely potent carfentanil. They also found 33 guns and charged his roommate with 337 firearm-related offenses.

It was easy for the shooter to acquire a firearm to commit the shooting.

But It’s S&W’s Fault

Despite the shooter’s mental illness and easy access to firearms, the class action suit against Smith & Wesson claims it’s the manufacturer’s fault for not making their firearms safer. They say the problem is that S&W didn’t incorporate smart-gun technology that would keep the shooter from firing the stolen pistol.

In a video interview, the plaintiffs argue that firearms without smart-gun tech are like cars from the ’70s that lack seat belts and safety glass. They believe that their lawsuit will ultimately force gun companies to embrace smart-gun technology.

SEE ALSO: Shocker! You Can Hack Smart Guns–With Magnets!

But it’s more like forcing all automobiles to be equipped with interlock devices that prevent users from driving while under the influence. Unfortunately though, whether its interlock devices or personalized firearms, the tech isn’t foolproof.

There are numerous workarounds that allow those with criminal intent to circumvent the block. For example, a drunk could have a sober buddy blow into his car’s breathalyzer to get it started. And, one can easily hack a smart gun with a magnet, as GunsAmerica previously reported.

Point is, crime is a people problem– not a product problem. The perp who killed those patrons at a restaurant in Toronto is responsible for the act, not the gun nor its manufacturer.

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About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

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  • Daniel Braatz January 2, 2020, 1:43 pm

    Why doesn’t S&W pay them in ‘Smart Dollars’ that can only be spent by the victim’s family

  • Vee Dandy December 30, 2019, 12:24 am

    Right after I sue General Motors on behalf of my clients who’s daughter was struck by a stolen police cruiser which WAS equipped with multiple smart technologies that not only completely failed to prevent her death but was a contributing factor in her death. (150,000,000 is just my retainer btw).

  • krinkov545 December 27, 2019, 4:02 pm

    Official S&W response, sue us as often as you want to, for as much as money you want, we won’t pay so much as a penny. And we will not even show up in court to boot.

    Benhard Goetz was sued by one of his thug attackers lawyers for one million dollars back in 1987 and Bernie has not paid a penny of it to this day.

  • Alkemyst December 27, 2019, 11:58 am

    Sooo, let me see if I have this straight. guy commits murder with a STOLEN gun (S&W had not control) so they’re going to sue the gun maker for not having a technology that doesn’t exist and is not mandated in any way, shape, or form ANYWHERE. What brain dead lawyer (but I repeat myself) would take this on? What judge would hear it?! And that’s not even getting to the PLCAA. This lawsuit should be DOA.

    • Shan December 28, 2019, 3:33 pm

      Actually California’s handgun roster is almost entirely based on this “Smart Gun” technology. Any new handgun made after 2013 I believe has to incorporate this tech. Even though it isn’t even a real thing yet. I think it has to do more with micro stamping on the bullet but still…. So yes Commyfornia is on the cutting edge of nonesensery once again.

      • Area52 January 9, 2020, 1:06 am

        You are incorrect. CA handgun roster doesn’t require Smart gun technology., What it does require is microstamping for all new semi auto pistols. Any handgun that doesn’t have it that was on the list could still be sold in CA as long as the manufacturer sends them a gun for “testing every two years. Therefore there is a de facto ban on new handguns in CA because no company makes a handgun with microstamping.

        The state that has a future smart gun requirement is NJ. The law used to be that if any manufacturer made a smart gun, that was the only handgun that NJ gun dealers would be allowed to sell. I believe they modified it and actually made it less strict because they thought it was impeding the desire for a company to make a smart gun.

  • John W. Raccasi December 27, 2019, 11:47 am

    The last vehicle I was in that did not have seat belts was a 1966 Bug and that was in 1980, it did have safety glass, I know because I was the passenger and we were drunk and rolled it at 70 MPH. We slid around a corner on the drivers side, the tire came off the rim and spun us around 180 and then the passenger tire came off the rim and dug into the pavement and flipped us over. Was the manufacturer of the tires or rims or pavement to blame? Was 1966 to blame for no having some sort of safety measures in place? Please it was our acts and actions that caused what we did to ourselves and we got what we deserved that night.

    By the way, I’m a danger to the public, I’m still driving my 1976 pick-up and yes it has seat belts and safety glass and I use them everyday.

    Suing the wind for fanning the flames on you burning house keeps the courts tied up in knots for years while people have to wait their turn to get results.

    What’s the difference between a road kill lawyer and a road kill rattlesnake…..there are skid marks leading up to the rattlesnake.

  • SuperG December 27, 2019, 10:48 am

    Nothing but hypocrisy here, as they do not sue Ford when a drunk driver kills someone, yet cars kill more people than guns.

  • Michael McIsaac December 27, 2019, 10:39 am

    The author fails to mention that both the shooter and his brother were radical islamists. The reason this guy was not locked up sooner is that it would not have been politically correct to do so. Just another case of sudden jihad syndrome, ho-hum.

  • frank December 27, 2019, 10:18 am

    Just pay them off in Monopoly money, these lefties won’t know the difference.

  • Ray December 27, 2019, 10:11 am

    If S & W loses any money on this moronic lawsuit. S & W should sue whatever city the perp., lived in and the Canadian government for not treating a mentally ill person, that resulted in the death of 2 people !!

  • Eric December 27, 2019, 9:48 am

    There’s a very interesting book that well describes people who think like this. Dr. Scott Peck, a well-respected psychiatrist, wrote the old, famous book, “The Road Less Traveled”. Years later, he wrote a much more alarming book called, “People of the Lie”. What’s interesting is how he describes evil. In the book, he notes that most people in the movies bent on vengeance or anger, hurting others, are not actually evil… they KNOW they’re wrong and often suffer mentally over what they’ve done-whether or not they’re willing to admit it. They accept their punishment as justice, in the backs of their minds.

    Then he went on to say that those who are truly evil are those with no moral boundaries. They fully abide by the law and even aspire to very high government or social positions. They are never in trouble with the law, and they never believe that they themselves are guilty of anything. Yet they have absolutely no love for others besides themselves, and they stop at nothing to have their way, harboring no remorse for any action that might indirectly bring devastating harm to others. Often, couples who both have this “sickness” have children who self-destruct.

    Of course…. it’s someone else’s fault.

    • alex December 28, 2019, 9:48 pm

      there’s a name for what you described,it called a politician.

    • TL January 3, 2020, 3:32 am

      Wow thats Trump to a T!

  • Gourdhead December 27, 2019, 9:43 am

    To allow this suit to be filed is ludicrous. Stupidity at it’s peak. Sort of like here in the U.S. court system.

  • Capt. Dave December 27, 2019, 9:37 am

    I spent 17 years living in Canada. When it comes to guns, or laws in general, Canadians can be down right, wacky. There is no right to self defense. Even those martial arts items, called, nan-chucks, you know two sticks connected by a chain or rope, are considered “prohibited weapons”. That puts them on a scale equal to having a machine gun in the USA. I have no stats but in 17 years I only came across 2 individuals who actually owned guns. One was a hunter and the other an x cop. Even Toronto cops had to check in their guns at the station when going off duty. I’ve seen first hand that Socialism is a total loss of rights and freedom. If you don’t believe me, please move to Canada.

    • krinkov545 December 27, 2019, 4:06 pm

      I’ve to Brandon Manitoba and actually saw a cheap .22 rifle that a local farmer owned and kept in the barn!

  • mikeb December 27, 2019, 8:59 am

    Why not sue the Canadian government for not requiring all firearms sold in Canada to have smart technology? Or sue your socialized healthcare system for failing to provide proper care for this person who was a known threat to society?

  • Dr Motown December 27, 2019, 6:42 am

    Unless there’s a federal law in Canada mandating fool-proof technology that doesn’t exist, how can this even be allowed to proceed by any judge with 1/2 of a brain? Oh, wait, Canada has the same problem with judges that we have sometimes….

    • Frank December 27, 2019, 8:22 am

      The only “mental illness” that has been running rampant and needs to be nipped in the bud…. is Liberalism.

      • D.J. December 27, 2019, 12:38 pm

        Man ……… You said it , Brother !

      • krinkov545 December 27, 2019, 4:04 pm

        Eradicate it off of the face of the earth and burn it with fire just to sure!

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