George Zimmerman’s Gun Taken Off Auction
UPDATE: 2:33 p.m. EDT
The gun used by George Zimmerman to kill unarmed Miami teen Trayvon Martin in 2012 was set to go for auction Thursday, but has apparently been pulled.
The online auction was halted without explanation Thursday for the Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol that the former Florida neighborhood watch volunteer owned.
“Sorry, but the item you have requested is no longer in the system,” the website said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The weapon was removed from the GunBroker.com website, minutes after the auction was to begin. It was not immediately clear why the website took down the listing.
Zimmerman had told Orlando, Florida, TV station WOFL that the pistol was returned to him by the U.S. Justice Department, which took it after he was acquitted in Martin’s shooting death.
The auction was to begin at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday and end 24 hours later. The website operators did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.
The auction listing had said a portion of the proceeds would go toward fighting what Zimmerman calls violence by the Black Lives Matter movement against law enforcement officers, combatting anti-gun rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and ending the career of state attorney Angela Corey, who led Zimmerman’s prosecution.
Zimmerman, 32, has said he was defending himself when he shot and killed Martin, 17, in a gated community near Orlando. Martin, who lived in Miami with his mother, was visiting his father at the time. He was acquitted in Martin’s shooting death after a 2013 trial. The case sparked protests and a national debate about race relations. The Justice Department later decided not to bring a civil rights case against Zimmerman.
In the auction listing, Zimmerman also rationalized selling the gun because of strong interest from collectors including “The Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.”
Smithsonian spokesman John Gibbons denied any interest.
“The Smithsonian has never expressed an interest in collecting this firearm and has no intention of collecting or displaying this firearm,” Gibbons said.