"I hate guns," Payton said.
Payton's comments came days after Will Smith, a former defensive end for the Saints who was slated to be inducted into the franchise's hall of fame later this year, was shot and killed.
"I'm not an extreme liberal," Payton said. "I find myself leaning to the right on some issues. But on this issue, I can't wrap my brain around it."
Payton even railed against the idea that people need guns for protection.
"Two hundred years from now, they're going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?'" Payton said. "The idea that we need them to fend off intruders … people are more apt to draw them [in other situations]. That’s some silly stuff we're hanging on to."
"I've heard people argue that everybody needs a gun," he added. "That's madness."
Smith died Saturday after being shot in an altercation after a three-car collision in New Orleans. Smith's wife Racquel was shot in her right leg, but survived the incident.
Read more from Payton at USA Today.