Polytechnique mass shooting survivor slams gun rights group for using ‘POLY’ promo code

A mass shooting survivor and spokesperson for gun-control group PolySeSouvient says it is “incredibly disrespectful” for firearm rights advocates to invoke the group’s name in a merchandise sale discount code.

The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights’ online shop recently offered 10 per cent off clothing, mugs and other items to customers who used “POLY” as a promo code.

A gunman killed 14 women at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989.

Nathalie Provost, who was shot four times during the rampage, is now spokesperson for PolySeSouvient, a group that includes graduates and students of the school who push for stricter gun laws.

The provost said it was not surprising the coalition did the sales promotion so close to the Polytechnique anniversary, given it has dismissed the event as an anomaly that does not warrant changing gun laws.

Tracey Wilson, a firearm rights coalition spokesperson, said the promotion was not about the tragedy, but about PolySeSouvient’s Twitter account, which has referred to a coalition of supporters as gun trolls.

“We want a reduction to crime, violence and gun smuggling — they want a reduction in legal gun ownership,” Wilson said.

Provost said that as the anniversary approaches, PolySeSouvient is particularly focused on the gun file as MPs study a government bill that would enshrine a definition of prohibited assault-style firearms, a ban for which the group has been fighting for 33 years.

The coalition for firearm rights and Conservative MPs have denounced the move as an attack on law-abiding, licensed gun owners.

The coalition said this week the government’s ultimate goal is to ban all civilian ownership of firearms in Canada.

WATCH | Ottawa moves to expand banned weapons list:

Ottawa moves to expand the banned weapons list

A new government proposal will make more firearms illegal in Canada, adding many shotguns and semi-automatic rifles to the banned list.

Asked about the coalition’s merchandise promotion Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau underscored his government’s gun-control plans.

“Unfortunately, we see the gun lobby working with the Conservative Party of Canada to spread misinformation, to use fear, to sow division by trying to mislead Canadians,” Trudeau said at an event in British Columbia.

“While we will always respect the rights of law-abiding hunters and farmers to use shotguns and rifles, there are certain guns that have no place in our communities, no place anywhere in Canada.”