George Zimmerman has listed the gun with which he killed Trayvon Martin in 2012 for auction, touting it as “your opportunity to own a piece of American history”.The former neighbourhood watch volunteer was acquitted two years ago in the death of the young unarmed African American, but the case sparked protests and a national debate about race relations.
Zimmerman listed “the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin” on GunBroker.com on Thursday, with bidding scheduled to begin at 11am EDT on Thursday.
He wrote in the item description that it had recently been returned to him by the Department of Justice and was fully functional.
“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. It has been featured in several publications and in current university text books. Offers to purchase the firearm have been received; however, the offers were to use the gun in a fashion I did not feel comfortable with.”
The listing was illustrated by photos of the weapon taken during Zimmerman’s trial.
The gun, a Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm, was billed as a “collectible firearm” and had a starting price of US$5,000.
According to an interview with a local Fox affiliate, excerpts of which were shared on Twitter, Zimmerman said it was “time to move past the firearm, and if I sell it and it sells, I move past it”. The Trayvon Martin foundation, set up after the youth’s death to “end senseless gun violence”, said it had “no comment on the actions of that person”.
Photograph: Red Huber/AP
Matthew Apperson was charged with shooting at Zimmerman, a year ago, in a road-rage incident
The listing was timed to coincide with 12 months to the day since Zimmerman was shot at in Florida, allegedly by Matthew Apperson.
Zimmerman wrote that he was “proud to announce” that a portion of the proceeds raised would be used to “fight BLM [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers” as well as ending the career of Angela Corey, his prosecutor – “and Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric”.
He signed off “your friend, George M. Zimmerman” and “Si vis pacem, para bellum” – the Latin adage, “If you want peace, prepare for war”.
The auction ends on Friday. Zimmerman is a verified member of GunBroker.com and listed his location as Sanford, Florida.
Zimmerman was reportedly banned from Twitter in December but used the platform to voice similar views, including an apparent reference to Martin as a “moron”, a description of the BLM movement as “black slime matters” and a retweet of a post showing Martin’s lifeless body with the caption, “Z-man is a one-man army”.
The Florida man, a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator, shot and killed Martin in February 2012 after a violent altercation in a Sanford housing community. In a police call minutes before the killing, Zimmerman said he could see “a real suspicious guy” in the neighbourhood who “looks like he is up to no good”. Martin, who was unarmed, was returning from a convenience store.
Zimmerman was not initially charged, until protests spread around the country demanding a full investigation. He successfully argued at a murder trial that he had acted in self-defence and was acquitted in July 2013. In February 2015 the federal justice department said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the 32-year-old for hate crimes.