Gun comments split family of Oscar Pistorius

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- The family of Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympian charged with murdering his girlfriend, is feuding publicly about whether guns are a necessary protection against crime in South Africa.

British newspapers quoted Pistorius' father, Henke Pistorius, as saying the family owned handguns for self-defense and suggesting that South Africa's government shares blame for "white crime levels" in the country.

In a statement Tuesday quoting the runner's uncle, Arnold Pistorius, the family subsequently distanced itself from the father's comments.

The statement said the family "is deeply concerned about the comments" and that they don't "represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the Pistorius family."

The track star shot Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14 with a pistol he said he owned to protect himself against crime.