George Zimmerman, the man who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 and was acquitted of all charges in the case, made headlines once again on Wednesday for an ad posted on a firearm-auctioning website, GunBroker. The post listed the weapon that he purportedly used to kill Martin. The 9 mm pistol was listed for sale on GunBroker.com, posted by user “GZ1776” at a starting bid of $5,000. By a little after 11 a.m. Thursday morning, the auction was halted and the original listing could no longer be found on the site.
Zimmerman stated in his listing that, “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.” It went on to say that the gun is fully functional and was returned to Zimmerman by the Department of Justice. According to NPR, the post concluded, “I am proud to announce that a portion of the proceeds will be used to fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers, ensure the demise of Angela [Corey’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~”
#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Zimmerman was acquitted for his crime and 17-year old Trayvon was posthumously placed on trial for his own murder. According to the group’s website,”Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society. Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes.”
Zimmerman spoke with Fox 35 Orlando, a local news station, and confirmed that he was auctioning off the gun that was used to shoot and kill Martin. He told Fox 35 Orlando, “I’m a free American. I can do what I want with my possessions.”
The site on which the gun was listed has made headlines in relation to the Martin case before, according to CNN. In 2012, shooting targets showing a hooded figure holding Skittles and iced tea—the items Martin was carrying the night he died—were reportedly advertised on the website.
Martin’s family declined to comment on the purported sale of the gun, saying the Trayvon Martin Foundation is focused on ending gun violence in the United States. “This election season, we are laser-focused on furthering that mission,” Martin’s family said in a statement. “As such, the foundation has no comment on the actions of that person.”