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'I am not a criminal': Habs goalie Carey Price speaks against controversial firearms bill

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Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price has taken a stance against a proposed amendment to Ottawa's controversial Bill C-21 that would further restrict access to certain firearms in Canada.

In a photo posted to Price's Instagram account Saturday afternoon, the Habs star goalie is shown dressed head-to-toe in camouflage with a shotgun tucked under his arm.

"I love my family, I love my country and I care for my neighbour. I am not a criminal or a threat to society," the caption reads. "What [Justin Trudeau] is trying to do is unjust. I support the [Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights] to keep my hunting tools. Thank you for listening to my opinion."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Carey Price (@cp0031)

If passed, Bill C-21 would tighten legal access to handguns, as well as refine the definition of prohibited assault-style firearms.

It's this latter amendment, introduced in late November, that has drawn the ire of Canadian hunters -- Carey Price among them -- who say the definition would outlaw weapons used within their practice.

For example, Conservative Public Safety Critic Raquel Dancho has particularly objected to the inclusion of the Simonov SKS, a semi-automatic rifle she says is commonly used by Indigenous hunters.

But the Liberals have repeatedly stated their intention is not to go after hunters but to restrict certain firearms designed for the "battlefield."

The measure would build on a 2020 regulatory ban of over 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style firearms, such as the Ruger Mini-14 -- the weapon used to kill 14 women in the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique shooting in Montreal, the 33rd anniversary of which is just days away.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino has accused the Conservatives of fear-mongering and distorting the truth by claiming the Trudeau government wants to ban regular long guns and hunting rifles.

APPLAUSE FROM POILIEVRE, CCFR

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre applauded Price's statement in a Tweet Saturday, referring to the proposed legislation as a "ban [on] hunting rifles."

"Carey is absolutely right. Hunting is a great Canadian tradition. Trudeau’s attempts to ban hunting rifles are an attack on rural and Indigenous people," he wrote.

Price, who is currently on the Canadiens' injured reserve list, was also praised by the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights (CCFR), a gun owner-rights group tagged in his original Instagram post.

"Thank you Carey Price," the CCFR wrote in an Instagram post of their own. "We won't stop working to defend [Canada's] right to own and enjoy property."

The CCFR came under scrutiny earlier this week after the group's online shop recently offered 10 per cent off for customers who used the code "POLY" at checkout.

The promo code was criticized by gun-control group PolySeSouvient, formed after the Polytechnique massacre.  

PolySeSouvient also reacted to Price's comments on Twitter, stating he had been "duped" by disinformation. 

"The #disinformation of [Pro-gun lobbies] on the amendment to #C21 (taken up blindly by some media) duped hero and hunter Carey Price who mistakenly believes that the latter targets shotguns and rifles," the Tweet states. 

With files from The Canadian Press. 

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