Montreal Canadiens star goaltender Carey Price is voicing his opposition to the federal government’s proposed amendment to gun-control legislation.
The Liberals’ proposed amendment could lead to a ban on several semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. It was in response to demands from advocates of tougher gun laws.
The proposed definition includes a centrefire semi-automatic rifle or shotgun designed to accept a detachable magazine that can hold more than five cartridges.
Price, an avid outdoorsman and hunter, shared his disapproval with the amendment on Instagram Saturday afternoon – a rare political statement from the notoriously private NHL player.
“I love my family, I love my country and I care for my neighbour. I am not a criminal or a threat to society,” Price wrote. “What @justinpjtrudeau is trying to do is unjust. I support the @ccfr_ccdaf to keep my hunting tools.
“Thank you for listening to my opinion.”
Price tagged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights in the post.
In the photo, the Canadiens player is seen standing in a field wearing camouflage and holding a hunting weapon.
Support from Poilievre, Conservatives
The post received support and backlash online.
Some federal Conservatives applauded Price’s statement, such as Leader Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Public Safety Critic Raquel Dancho and Peterborough—Kawartha MP Michelle Ferreri among many others.
The leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec, Éric Duhaime, also supported Price’s stance.
“Have to agree with Carey Price on this one, he tweeted.
Carey is absolutely right.— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) December 3, 2022
Hunting is a great Canadian tradition. Trudeau’s attempts to ban hunting rifles are an attack on rural and Indigenous people.
We must stop him.
Sign here to stand with our hunters: https://t.co/RvgMngFlEb pic.twitter.com/bPjMQ16Z5W
Three days before Polytechnique anniversary
Others shared their disappointment with the goaltender, with many criticizing the timing of the post – three days before the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when a gunman killed 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989.
The gun-control group PolySeSouvient says Price was “duped” by disinformation on Bill C-21, and that the legislation amendment would in fact not target his hunting rifles.
Meanwhile the CCFR, the group Price tagged in his post, recently faced backlash of its own. The group’s online shop offered 10 per cent off some merchandise to customers who used “POLY” as a promo code – referencing the university’s name.
“Love #CareyPrice. Sad to see him co-opted by CPC to gaslight Canadians,” one person tweeted. “Carey will have the tools he needs to hunt after all legislation is passed. If he needs to hunt with assault rifles, not much of a hunter. Also 3 days before anniversary of #MontrealMassacre #Insensitive”
More on the bill amendment
In May 2020, the Liberal government announced a ban through order-in-council on more than 1,500 models and variants of what it considers assault-style firearms, such as the AR-15 and the Ruger Mini-14.
The Liberals recently proposed including an evergreen definition of a prohibited assault-style firearm in gun-control legislation being studied by the House of Commons public safety committee.
The description is intended to ensure gun manufacturers can’t tweak designs of prohibited firearms in a bid to get around the ban and reintroduce them to the Canadian market.
The Conservatives claim the government’s amendment amounts to the most significant hunting rifle ban in the history of Canada.
Others are accusing the Conservatives of fearmongering and incorrectly making Canadians believe the Liberal government is outlawing ordinary long guns and hunting rifles.
—With files from The Canadian Press