AP: Oscar Pistorius sought additional gun licenses before shooting model girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius at Magistrate Court in Pretoria, South Africa on Feb. 20, 2013
AFP/Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG Oscar Pistorius applied for firearm licenses for six more guns weeks before the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp inside his house on Feb. 14, according to official records obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The applications were made on Jan. 22, just over three weeks before Pistorius shot his girlfriend dead in his home with a licensed 9 mm pistol.

The athlete says the killing of Steenkamp was accidental as he thought she was a dangerous intruder inside his bathroom. Prosecutors say the double-amputee athlete intended to kill his girlfriend and have charged him with premediated murder.

In details obtained from the South African Police Service's National Firearms Center and given over the telephone, Pistorius applied for licenses for a Smith & Wesson model 500 revolver, a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, a Vector .223-caliber rifle and three shotguns: A Mossberg shotgun, a Maverick shotgun and a Winchester shotgun.

The details were given to the AP by two separate officials at the government department. They refused to give their names because they were not authorized to speak to the media, although the records are available to the public.

Pistorius registered the 9 mm handgun used in the Valentine's Day killing for self-defense, the firearm center officials said. The six outstanding applications listed those guns for Pistorius' private collection.

The six recent firearm license applications were sent back to a police and firearms station in Johannesburg to be reapplied for on Monday, four days after Steenkamp's killing, the officials said. No reasons were given why the applications were sent back to be refiled.

Pistorius' license for the 9 mm Parabellum pistol that was used in Steenkamp's shooting was issued to Pistorius on Sept. 10, 2010, on appeal after an initial application in 2008 was rejected. One of the officials said the rejection was procedural as Pistorius had passed his competency test and had no criminal record.

The 9 mm pistol license card was printed on Sept. 16, 2010, and received by Pistorius on Sept. 27, 2010, the officials said.

Under South Africa's strict gun laws, you need a license for every firearm you own. An applicant must undergo a competency test — which includes gun safety training — before a license can be issued.

Pistorius would also have had to provide three character referees, one of the firearms center officials said, one of whom must be a family member and one of whom must be a neighbor.