When George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder after he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, he became the center of a national debate and the focus of protests over Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.
In the years since, Zimmerman has been a lightning rod for controversy. His attempt to sell the gun that killed Trayvon is no exception. The entry on GunBroker.com, which went up on 11 May 2016, described the gun as an "American Firearm Icon":
I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon. 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. The gun is a Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm. It has recently been returned to me by the Department of Justice. The pistol currently has the case number written on it in silver permanent marker. 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 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. I recognize the purchaser's ownership and right to do with the firearm as they wish. The purchaser is guaranteed validity and authenticity of the firearm. On this day, 5/11/2016 exactly one year after the shooting attempt to end my life by BLM sympathizer Matthew Apperson I am proud to announce that a portion of the proceeds will be used to: fight BLM violence against Law Enforcement officers, ensure the demise of Angela Correy's persecution career and Hillary Clinton's anti-firearm rhetoric. Now is your opportunity to own a piece of American History. Good Luck.
Your friend, George M. Zimmerman
~Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum~
Bidding started at $5,000. Zimmerman added that the "Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C." had expressed interest in owning the weapon, which was categorically denied by the Smithsonian:
The Smithsonian has never expressed interest in collecting George Zimmerman’s firearm. The Smithsonian has no plans to ever collect or display this object in any of its museums.
Zimmerman told local news outlet WOFL that the Justice Department had recently returned the gun. "They took it after my trial, after I was exonerated," he said. WOFL also contacted Trayvon Martin's family, but they declined to comment directly, instead releasing a statement:
The Trayvon Martin Foundation is committed to its mission of ending senseless gun violence in the United States. This election season, we are laser focused on furthering that mission. As such, the foundation has no comment on the actions of that person.
As of 12 May 2016, Zimmerman's entry appears to have been removed from GunBroker.com. The site posted the following announcement:
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.
The site United Gun Group is now running the auction for Zimmerman's gun.