Zayn Malik has had a huge gun tattooed on his hip.

The One Direction heartthrob, who has a number of designs inked on his body, has now shocked young fans with the controversial design on his left side.

The 20-year-old posted a photograph of the inking on Instagram, which was etched by his tattooist Louis F Perez III - and he was seen leaving Mark Mahoney's Shamrock Social Club in Los Angeles on Thursday night (21.11.13) after the painful procedure.

Proud of his work, the artist also posted a snap of the finished pistol on his page, with the caption: ''Made sure my homey was strapped.''

But the comment was quickly deleted after the band's fans, known as 'Directioners', reacted badly.

Zayn's new inking was a result of a late night visit to the tattoo parlour on Sunset Boulevard with band mate Liam Payne, his dog Harley, and a group of friends.

Zayn has a growing collection of intricate tattoos, including a caricature of fiancée Perrie Edwards on his arm, which the Little Mix singer is said to love.

Band-mate Harry Styles also has a tattoo collection which can rival Zayn's and continues to pay regular visits to tattoo parlours.

The 'Story of my Life' hitmakers are currently on tour in America ahead of One Direction Day on Saturday and the release of their third album 'Midnight Memories' on Monday.