Black teen's killer tries to auction death gun

George Zimmerman has found a new website on which he plans to auction the gun he said he used to kill Trayvon Martin. Photo / AP
George Zimmerman has found a new website on which he plans to auction the gun he said he used to kill Trayvon Martin. Photo / AP

After one online gun seller pulled his listing, George Zimmerman has found a new website on which he plans to auction the gun he said he used to kill Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman initially posted the 9mm pistol on GunBroker.com on Thursday, more than four years after he shot and killed Martin, an unarmed black teenager.

"I am honoured and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon," read Zimmerman's description of the gun, a Kel-Tec PF-9. "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."

But yesterday, that listing vanished from GunBroker, which later said it wanted "no part" in the sale of a firearm whose use in the fatal 2012 shooting in Florida sparked a nationwide debate over race relations and "stand your ground" laws.

"We reserve the right to reject listings at our sole discretion, and have done so with the Zimmerman listing," a company statement read.

"We want no part in the listing on our website or in any of the publicity it is receiving."

Undeterred, Zimmerman found a new place to sell the weapon.

"GunBroker was not prepared for the traffic and publicity surrounding the auction of my firearm," he said in an email to the Washington Post yesterday. "It has now been placed with another auction house."

Todd Underwood, owner of UnitedGunGroup.com, yesterday confirmed that Zimmerman's gun is now listed on his site.

He described the site as a "pro-Second Amendment community" created this year after Facebook banned private gun sales.

"I talked to George Zimmerman earlier today and told him that as long as all laws are being followed, he can list the gun on our site," Underwood told the Post. "I don't support it, I don't condone it, I don't have anything against it. It's his property, it's his decision."

Sanford police officer Timothy Smith holds up the gun that was used to kill Trayvon Martin. Photo / AP
Sanford police officer Timothy Smith holds up the gun that was used to kill Trayvon Martin. Photo / AP

Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Martin in Sanford, but was acquitted by a Florida jury in July 2013.

"Why shouldn't he be selling it?" Underwood said when asked about outrage sparked by Zimmerman's auction plans. "Here's the thing: parents lost their child and as a father it breaks my heart to even contemplate going through what they went through.

"But when you look at the facts of the case, he was charged and he was exonerated by a jury of his peers. This shouldn't even be a story. A gentleman who did nothing wrong is selling a personal possession of his to the highest bidder."

Zimmerman said in the listing that proceeds of the auction would 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 was misspelled, is the special prosecutor who was appointed by then-Florida Governor Rick Scott to investigate Martin's shooting death.

Trayvon Martin who was shot by George Zimmerman.
Trayvon Martin who was shot by George Zimmerman.

A lawyer for Martin's family yesterday said 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 family's lawyers, told the 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."

On both auction websites, Zimmerman claimed the case number from the trial is written on the gun in permanent marker and that "the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC" had expressed interest in "owning and displaying the firearm", though he did not specify which museum.

The Smithsonian Institution, which operates 19 museums, rejected that claim.

Bidding for the gun opens at US$5000 ($7325).

Zimmerman told Fox affiliate WOFL on Thursday that he "recently received [the gun] back from the Department of Justice. They took it after my trial, after I was exonerated."

Trayvon Martin's cold-blooded killer should be in prison. Instead, he is trying to profit from the stunning miscarriage of justice.
Hakeem Jeffries

He told the Orlando station that he had received death threats since listing the firearm on Gunbroker.com but had decided to continue with the sale anyway.

"I'm a free American. I can do what I want with my possessions," he said.

Hakeem Jeffries, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from New York, criticised Zimmerman's decision to sell the gun in a statement issued shortly before the sale was halted then moved to the second auction site.

"Trayvon Martin's cold-blooded killer should be in prison," Jeffries said. "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."

- Washington Post

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