George Zimmerman Tries to Auction Off Gun Used to Kill Trayvon Martin: 'A Piece of American History'
George Zimmerman’s attempt to sell the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin at auction may have appeared short-lived when the listing was taken down, but he's not giving up so easily.
A new listing for the Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm gun appeared on firearm auction site UnitedGunGroup.com Thursday evening with a minimum bid of $5,000 – according to reports – hours after another broker had removed the same weapon.
Multiple attempts to access the new auction, however, were unsuccessful.
Earlier Thursday, visitors to GunBroker.com trying to access the page for "a piece of American History" were met with an error message just before the auction was to begin.
“Sorry, but the item you have requested is no longer in the system,” the message read.
In a text message to the Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman said the original auction site wasn't "prepared for the traffic and publicity surrounding the auction of my firearm."
But GunBroker.com told a different story. In a statement posted Thursday, the site said: "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. Our site rules state that we reserve the right to reject listings at our sole discretion, and have done so with the Zimmerman listing.
"We want no part in the listing on our web site or in any of the publicity it is receiving."
“The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012,” Zimmerman, 32, wrote in the original listing. “Many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. This is a piece of American History.”
The weapon was recently returned in working order to Zimmerman by the Department of Justice, he said.
He celebrated that the gun was still operable, despite what he called “attempts by the Department of Justice on behalf of B. Hussein Obama to render the firearm inoperable.”
The former neighborhood watch volunteer fatally shot the 17-year-old Martin after spotting the teen walking in a Florida gated community.
Zimmerman called 911 when he saw Martin, who was staying with his father nearby, and ignored orders by the dispatcher to not approach the teen.
The pair reportedly got into a fight and Zimmerman shot the teen, who only had Skittles and Arizona watermelon fruit juice on him when he was killed. Zimmerman claimed self-defense, but Martin’s parents have always insisted that Zimmerman initiated the fight.
Zimmerman was charged by a special prosecutor appointed by the governor, but was acquitted of murder and manslaughter in 2013.
Martin’s death and Zimmerman’s acquittal sparked rallies across the country and protests of law enforcement’s treatment of the black community. The incident also called into question Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, which removes a person’s duty to retreat before using force in self-defense.
Zimmerman wrote in the description of the gun on the auction page that a portion of the proceeds will be used to fight Black Lives Matter “violence against Law Enforcement officers.”
Money from the sale will also go to “ensure the demise” of the career of the State Attorney who charged Zimmerman in Martin’s death and to end “Hillary Clinton's anti-firearm rhetoric,” he wrote.
Criticisms of his choice to profit off the weapon that led to a teenager’s death fell on deaf ears, as Zimmerman told WOFL: “I’m a free American. I can do what I like with my possessions.”
Bidding on the gun was set to go for 24 hours on GunBroker.com, where Zimmerman included photos of officials holding the weapon during his trial.
“Now is your opportunity to own a piece of American History. Good Luck,” he wrote.
Zimmerman signed the page with “Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum,” which is Latin for “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
The Trayvon Martin Foundation said in a statement that the organization “is committed to its mission of ending senseless gun violence in the United States. This election season, we are laser focused on furthering that mission. As such, the foundation has no comment on the actions of that person."