Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius was in the process of buying six guns at the time he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, more than usually allowed under South African law, his murder trial heard on Monday.
The order for three shotguns, two revolvers, and a rifle had already been invoiced to the athlete when he shot Steenkamp on February 14, 2013, testified gun licenser Sean Rens. "The transaction was cancelled a month post-incident," he said at the start of the third week of trial.
South African law allows non-collectors to possess only four firearms. Rens said Pistorius "had a great love and enthusiasm" for firearms. The licenser said the athlete told him he once drew his gun inside his house at a suspicious noise, which turned out to be the washing machine. "He went into what we call 'code red', or combat mode, in other words to draw his gun and go and clear his house," Rens testified on Monday.
Rens met the double-amputee in 2012 through a mutual friend. At the time Pistorius owned a 9 mm pistol and the pair visited a shooting range together around 10 times. The state has drawn on previous gun incidents to depict the 27-year-old Pistorius as rash and trigger-happy, in support of the charge of premeditated murder.
The sprinter faces three additional non-related charges over firing a gun in a restaurant and from a moving car, and for the illegal possession of ammunition. Licensing examination records showed Pistorius knew the country's gun laws well, the court heard. He answered correctly that he could only shoot at a person if his life was directly threatened.
Asked if he could fire at burglars stealing a television from his house, Pistorius answered: "No. Life is not in danger," Rens said, reading from an answer sheet. Pistorius says he shot dead Steenkamp, 29, through a locked toilet door when he mistook her for an intruder....