Guess who’s back in the news?
On Wednesday, George Zimmerman listed his Kel-Tec PF9 9mm pistol for sale on gunbroker.com with the initial starting price of $5,000. The firearm was the same one used in the controversial shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida in 2012. Zimmerman told local media that the firearm was recently returned to him from the Department of Justice, and that he planned to sell it.
“I’m a free American. I can do what I want with my possessions,” he said in an interview with WOFL.
In the listing on gunbroker.com, Zimmerman confirmed that the pistol is authentic and that he had previously received offers to buy the weapon. Zimmerman also indicated that several museums, including the Smithsonian, also wanted to acquire the gun due to its historical importance. In the end, he decided to open up a public auction.
Other media sites quickly picked up the story and the auction even drew the attention of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, as well as the Trayvon Martin Foundation. The Martin family refused to comment on the auction, but many supporters of the family criticized Zimmerman on social media. There were even some death threats. According to The Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman mentioned that a portion of the proceeds will be used to prevent violence against police officers from the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as to fight against additional gun control measures from Hillary Clinton.
However, the listing was pulled by gunbroker.com shortly after it went active. The following is a statement from the firearm marketplace:
Late last night, George Zimmerman created a listing on our web site for the gun from the Trayvon Martin case four years ago. Mr. Zimmerman alerted news organizations that began reporting on the listing first thing this morning.
Listings on the GunBroker.com web site are user-generated, exactly like social media posts. 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.
GunBroker.com prides itself in being a safe and legal way to buy and sell firearms online in full compliance with all Federal, State, and local laws. GunBroker.com proudly supports the Second Amendment rights of the American public.
GunBroker.com will not be fielding press inquiries regarding this matter
Since then Zimmerman has reportedly tried to sell his gun on another online auction house, United Gun Group, but that website is currently down. United Gun Group previously told reporters that as long as Zimmerman’s transaction is legal, it has no plans to prevent it from taking place.
“[As] long as Mr. Zimmerman (or any other UGG member) is obeying the letter of the law, his personal firearm sale will be permitted on our network,” the website told the Sentinel.
It is unknown whether the firearm is still available for sale on the United Gun Group Website. The Smithsonian, however, did respond to the auction as well. The museum clarified on Twitter that it has “never expressed interest in collecting George Zimmerman’s firearm, and have no plans to ever collect or display it in any museums.”