Oscar Pistorius's gun dealer testifies

Sean Rens from the International Firearm Training Academy has testified in court.

Oscar Pistorius is escorted into the High Court in Pretoria on 17 March 2014. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

PRETORIA - Sean Rens from the International Firearm Training Academy has taken the stand in the Oscar Pistorius trial.

Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year and also faces two separate firearm-related charges.

Picture: Carte Blanche.

Rens said over a number of months Pistorius had bought a number of firearms from his establishment.

Picture: Pool.

The dealer is a firearm service provider and assists and facilitates with firearm licence applications.

Pistorius's friend, Justin Divaris, introduced the two of them in May 2012 after Pistorius was interested in procuring a Smith & Wesson (S&W) 500 revolver.

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Rens brought with him to court invoices his company issued for Pistorius's firearms.

On the invoice is the S&W 500 revolver, an LM6 assault rifle, two shotguns and a .38 Special revolver.

He said the guns were never handed over to Pistorius and the invoice was cancelled a month after the shooting on 14 February 2013.

Rens did, however, establish that Pistorius was competent and produced his state-issued competency certificates to the court.

Click here to listen to Sean Rens's entire testimony.


State prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked Rens to read questions from the competency questionnaire as well as Pistorius's answers.

Question: You're at home alone, you see men jump over the wall, it's late at night - can you shoot?

Pistorius answered: No.

Question: The men break into your house, start stealing your hifi, can you shoot?

Pistorius answered: No.

Question: The burglars become aware of you, tell you to go away. There is a gate between you and them. Can you shoot?

Pistorius answered: No.

Question: The burglars come at you with a knife and a firearm, you are not behind a gate. Can you shoot?

Pistorius answered: Yes.

On a question of the importance of target identification, Pistorius answered, "Know your target and what lies beyond."

With regards to the legal requirements to use of lethal force, Pistorius answered, "The attack must be against you, a person and be unlawful."

Question: In a closed book test the scenarios were again presented - can you shoot?

Pistorius answered: No, life is not in danger.

Rens then tells of an incident Pistorius told him about when he suspected there was something wrong in his house.

"He went into what we call 'code red' or 'combat mode', when you draw your gun and clear the house. When he came to the source of the noise, it turned out it was the laundry [machine]."


Nel then concluded his questions and defence advocate Barry Roux asked for a five-minute adjournment to prepare for cross-examination with his colleague, advocate Kenny Oldwage.

Roux began his cross-examination by asking Rens about Black Talon bullets.

Rens responded, "Black Talon is a particular brand of ammunition, and it's a less lethal kind."

Roux's questioning suggested that because the shots were low through the door, Pistorius was aiming away from the body.

Rens said he also taught self-defence and how to clear a house of a threat by moving room-to-room.

Roux concluded his very brief cross-examination before Nel sought brief clarity.

Rens was then excused and Nel called the next witness, crime scene photographer, Warrant Officer Barend van Staden.

Get all the latest developments on the EWN Oscar Pistorius portal.

EWN video: Inside Pistorius's house: State vs defence.