Accessibility links

USA

Man Who Shot Trayvon Martin Auctioning Gun

  • Chris Hannas

FILE - Demonstrators block traffic on a highway in Los Angeles as they protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin trial.

FILE - Demonstrators block traffic on a highway in Los Angeles as they protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin trial.

The Florida man who sparked the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States with the shooting of an unarmed teenager four years ago is now selling the gun he used in the killing.

George Zimmerman listed the gun in an online auction beginning Thursday and required an opening bid of at least $5,000.

He shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012 as the teen walked back to a relative's home after purchasing snacks at a convenience store in the town of Sanford. Zimmerman was arrested six weeks later, but a jury later acquitted him of second degree murder. He said the shooting was an act of self-defense.

The U.S. Justice Department said last year it would not file civil rights charges against Zimmerman, saying the evidence in the case did not meet the "high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution."

Zimmerman told local Florida television station WOGX he recently got the gun back from the Justice Department.

"I thought it's time to move past the firearm and if I sell it and it sells, I move past it, otherwise it's going in a safe for my grandkids and never to be used or seen again," he said.

He said he is free to do whatever he likes with his possessions.

In the listing, Zimmerman calls the gun an "American Firearm Icon" and a "piece of American history." He says a portion of the money from the sale will go to what he calls fighting Black Lives Matter violence against police, working to end the "persecution career [sic]" of the prosecutor who charged him as well as the "anti-firearm rhetoric" of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Black Lives Matter began non-violent street protests Martin's killing and gained national attention following the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Since then, the deaths of other unarmed black males at the hands of police officers have inspired more protests across the country.

Clinton spoke about gun violence in April, calling it a national emergency and pledging to go after pro-gun lobbyists.

"The man who killed Trayvon Martin should have never had a gun in the first place," Clinton said.

Later this month, she is scheduled to give the keynote address at a conference for a group that offers assistance to women whose children or other family members have been killed by gun violence. The group was founded by Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and those attending the speech are being asked to donate $1,500 to the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

The foundation, in a statement to WOGX, said it is focused on its mission to end "senseless gun violence in the United States" and has no comment on Zimmerman's gun auction.

XS
SM
MD
LG