The auction site where George Zimmerman posted the gun used to kill 17-year-old Trayvon Martin reports that the item is "no longer in the system."
Zimmerman posted the weapon on GunBroker.com this week, more than four years after it was used to shoot and kill Martin, sparking a nationwide debate over so-called "stand your ground" laws and race relations in the United States. He was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, but ultimately acquitted by a Florida jury in July 2013.
"I am honoured and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon," Zimmerman wrote in the description of the gun used to kill the unarmed, black teenager. "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."
He wrote that the proceeds will be used to "fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers" and to "ensure the demise of Angela Correy's persecution career and Hillary Clinton's anti-firearm rhetoric," though he hasn't described how that would happen.
Corey, whose name he misspelled, is the special prosecutor who was appointed by Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott to investigate the death of Trayvon Martin.
The listing appeared to be taken down on Thursday morning, with the listing page displaying an error noting that the item "is no longer in the system."
An attorney for Martin's family said Thursday that Zimmerman's plan to auction the gun was "insulting and disrespectful."
"It is insulting to this family that he would decide that he would sell the gun that he killed their child with," Daryl D. Parks, one of the attorneys for the family, told The Washington Post. "Think about what that means: This is a gun that took a child's life and now he wants to make money off of it."
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., criticized Zimmerman's decision to sell the gun in a Thursday statement.
"Trayvon Martin's cold-blooded killer should be in prison," Jeffries said in the statement. "Instead, he is trying to profit from the stunning miscarriage of justice that occurred three years ago in a Florida courtroom. It should shock the conscience of every decent American that this man is peddling his murder weapon for sale. America must reject this merchant of death once and for all."
On the auction website, Zimmerman claimed the case number from the trial is written on the gun in permanent marker and that "The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C." has expressed interest in "owning and displaying the firearm," though he does not specify which museum.
The Smithsonian Institution, which operates 19 museums, refuted that claim Thursday morning.
"The firearm is fully functional as the attempts by the Department of Justice on behalf of B. Hussein Obama to render the firearm inoperable were thwarted by my phenomenal Defense Attorney," Zimmerman wrote, "I recognize the purchaser's ownership and right to do with the firearm as they wish."
He closed the description with si vis pacem para bellum, which means "If you want peace, prepare for war" in Latin.
Zimmerman told WOGZ that he has received death threats since putting the gun up for auction but has decided to continue with it anyway.
"What I've decided to do is not cower," he said. "I'm a free American. I can do what I want with my possessions."
Parks, the attorney for Martin's relatives, said Thursday that "the family does not want to dignify this with a response. Everyone agrees this is insulting and disrespectful. Without question, as time passes, we are seeing more and more the real person - who George Zimmerman really is versus who he was portrayed to be by his defense team."
Social media has been filled with nearly palpable outrage since the announcement of the auction, most of it containing threatening langue - or language too vulgar to quote online.
This isn't the first time Zimmerman has caused controversy by selling a personal item. Last August, he teamed up with Florida Gun Supply - a gun store that had publicly declared itself a "Muslim-free zone" - to sell prints of a painting by Zimmerman depicting a Confederate battle flag. It included the inscription, "The 2nd protects our 1st," presumably referring to the Second and First amendments.
The auction had been set to begin Thursday at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, with bidding starting at $5,000.