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Carey Price has issued an apology to the families of victims of the 1989 murder of 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique.

Over the weekend, the Montreal Canadiens goalie posted a photo of himself holding a shotgun to protest new gun legislation proposed by the federal government.

On Monday, the hockey club’s ownership group asserted that Price was unaware of the 1989 massacre. The team apologized “to any and all who have been offended or upset by the discourse” on the eve of the anniversary of the mass murder.

Price refuted the assertion that he did not know about the murders, however.

“I think the people of Montreal know my heart and my character and know I would never intentionally cause pain to those impacted by gun violence,” he wrote Tuesday on Instagram. “Despite a previous statement released, I did in fact know about the tragedy. I have been a member of the Montreal community for 15 years and I understand the weight this day holds within the community.”

Fourteen women, most of whom were engineering students, were killed by anti-feminist gunman Marc Lepine, who later turned the semi-automatic rifle on himself. In addition, 10 women and four men were wounded during the mass shooting.

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Bill C-21, the proposed legislation, includes a list of firearms that could be banned, but on Monday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was being reviewed and promised that it would not affect legitimate gun use or rifles and shotguns used in hunting like the one with which Price was pictured.

“While I have no control over the timing of the amendment to Bill C-21 I stand by the opinions I’ve shared,” Price wrote. “I acknowledge that amplifying any conversation around guns this week may have upset some of those impacted the most by the events in 1989 and to them I apologize.”

Nathalie Provost was 23 when she was shot by Lepine in the forehead, both legs and one foot. She graduated with an engineering degree a few months later and has since become a spokeswoman for the gun-control group PolySeSouvient.

“I want to make sure that people understand we are not against hunters or hunting, we are for better gun control,” Provost said from Montreal on Tuesday. “That is why the language in the bill has to be strong. People who are pro-gun rights want to create confusion among hunters but we are not opposed to them.

“What we believe is that they don’t need assault-style weapons.”

In his original post on Saturday, Price said, “I love my country, I love my family, and I care for my neighbour. I am not a criminal or a threat to society. What Justin Trudeau is trying to do is unjust.”

Screen grab of an Instagram post by Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price on December 6, 2022. Price and the team apologized to the families of École Polytechnique victims for the timing of his gun control comments the weekend before the anniversary of the mass shooting.Instagram

The Canadiens’ ownership group did not respond to an e-mail on Tuesday asking for clarity over its statement that Price did not know about the anniversary. Since 1991, Dec. 6 has been designated the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The hockey club’s owners also said that Price was unaware that the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights had adopted POLY as a discount code for merchandise.

“It is so disrespectful,” Provost said.

Price affirmed on Monday night that he did not agree with its usage.

“My views are my own and I do believe them,” Price wrote on Instagram. “The only reason I bring up this issue is because it is what’s being brought up now and not out of disrespect for anyone.

“No, I did not agree with the promotional code, either.”

Ceremonies and vigils were held across the country as a tribute the victims. Flags were lowered to half-mast in Ottawa and at the École Polytechnique’s campus. Wreaths were laid outside its engineering school.

Late Tuesday afternoon 14 beams of light were to be projected into the sky at Mount Royal. The Prime Minister and Quebec Premier Francois Legault were scheduled to attend.

Price, 35, is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys camping and hunting. He is a member of the Ulkatcho First Nation in British Columbia, where his mother serves as chief.

He has long been regarded among the best goalies in professional hockey and is an almost-certain future member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“My heart and prayers are with the families and the victims of the 1989 École Polytechnique shooting today,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.