Oscar gun licence refused, then granted

2013-02-19 00:00

THE application for a licence for the gun that killed Reeva Steenkamp was turned down by the Central Firearms Registry in 2008.

The reason is not clear, but Oscar Pistorius was granted a licence in 2010 after appealing.

This Taurus 9 mm parabellum is the only firearm registered in Pistorius’s name.

He has applied for licences for another six firearms — a Smith & Wesson .500 revolver, a Smith & Wesson .38 special revolver, a semi-automatic Vektor .223 firearm and three 12-bore shotguns: a Mossberg, a Maverick and a Winchester.

The applications, which were submitted four weeks ago, were all referred back yesterday by the central registry to the firearms officer, apparently because of the murder charge.

George Nell, a lawyer and firearms law expert, said an applicant seeking licences for four or more firearms had to be a registered hunter, a sport shottist or a collector. Pistorius applied as a collector.

Carvel Webb, chair of the SA Arms and Ammunition Collectors’ Association, confirmed that Pistorius was a member of the Lowveld Hunters’, Collectors’ and Game Conservation Association.

He said his membership had been suspended, which occurs automatically when a member is charged with a crime. Webb said an applicant for a collectors’ licences must belong to an accredited association and must have a theme or area of interest approved by the association. The police consult the association when deciding on applications.

Webb couldn’t give details of Pistorius’s theme.

Nell said that if an applicant had a pending violent crime charge, it was unlikely the police would approve further licences.

He said Pistorius’s 9 mm Taurus should have been taken away from him a long time ago, because there had been complaints of domestic violence at his home.

Brigadier Denise Beukes has confirmed that police were called to investigate previous complaints of domestic violence at Pistorius’s house.

He was once charged with assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, but the charge was withdrawn.

“The police are always alert when it comes to taking away firearms after cases of domestic violence,” said Nell.

“Why was Oscar Pistorius’s firearm not taken away if there had been so many complaints of domestic violence at his house?”

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