Advertisement

Online auction of gun George Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin is back on

Online auction of gun George Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin is back on
George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, listens in court, in Sanford, Fla., during a November 2013 hearing. (Joe Burbank /Orlando Sentinel, Pool)

George Zimmerman's first attempt to auction off the 9mm pistol he used to kill Trayvon Martin in 2012 was over before it ever began. Now he's trying again.

In a text, Zimmerman on Thursday told the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel the first gun-auction website, GunBroker.com, was not "prepared for the traffic and publicity surrounding the auction of my firearm. It has now been placed with another auction house."

Advertisement

It is now for sale at unitedgungroup.com with a starting bid of $5,000.

The gun was removed from GunBroker.com just minutes before bidding was supposed to start Thursday.

GunBroker.com, in a statement, said it wants "no part in the listing on our website or in any of the publicity it is receiving."

"Mr. Zimmerman never contacted anyone at GunBroker.com prior to or after the listing was created and no one at GunBroker.com has any relationship with Zimmerman," the statement said. "Our site rules state that we reserve the right to reject listings at our sole discretion, and have done so with the Zimmerman listing."

Zimmerman, a former Sanford, Fla., Neighborhood Watch volunteer, told Orlando Sentinel news partner WOFL-TV that he just got the gun back from the U.S. Department of Justice.

"They took it after my trial, after I was exonerated," he said.

Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 of killing Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old. He said he was defending himself when he shot Martin during a struggle.

In the first auction post, which was signed "Your friend, George M. Zimmerman," the seller said the gun "currently has the case number written on it in silver permanent marker."

The seller also said the "purchaser is guaranteed validity and authenticity of the firearm."

The auction listing said the Smithsonian was interested in buying the gun to display in one of its museums because the gun is a piece of American history. Officials with the institute said that isn't true.

"We have never expressed interest in collecting George Zimmerman's firearm, and have no plans to ever collect or display it in any museums," the Smithsonian said on Twitter.

In the listing, Zimmerman says a portion of the proceeds would go toward fighting alleged violence against law enforcement by the Black Lives Matter movement and to stop what he called anti-firearm rhetoric made by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Advertisement

The proceeds will also help pay for efforts to end the career of Angela Corey, who led the prosecution against Zimmerman, according to the post.

Clinton indirectly responded with a tweet saying she's thinking of Martin's mother, followed by a link to the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

"Sybrina, you and all mothers of gun violence victims have taught us hate will never win," the tweet reads.

Martin's family released a statement saying the foundation is focused on ending "senseless gun violence."

"We are laser focused on furthering that mission. As such, the foundation has no comment on the actions of that person that murdered Trayvon," the statement reads.

During the call with WOFL, Zimmerman said if he doesn't sell the gun, it will go in a safe and "never be used or seen again." He said he's received death threats and has decided not to cower.

He also said he thinks its "time to move past the firearm."

"I'm a free American," he told WOFL. "I can do what I want with my possession."

ALSO

UPDATES:

1:09 p.m.: Adds details about a second auction attempt.

11:58 a.m.: This article has been updated with comments from the Smithsonian and the mother of another slain black teen.

9:21 a.m.: This article has been updated with news that the online auction was taken down.

This article was originally published at 4:39 a.m.

Advertisement
Advertisement