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George Zimmerman, the Florida man who fatally shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin is still trying to auction off the handgun he used to kill the teen in 2012. After this initial listing for the gun was removed from auction site GunBroker.com late Thursday morning, he relisted the weapon on another site, UnitedGunGroup.com, the same afternoon, the Washington Post reported.
“Unfortunately, Gun broker was not prepared for the traffic and publicity surrounding the auction of my firearm,” Zimmerman told the newspaper in an email. “It has now been placed with another auction house.” UnitedGunGroup confirmed to the Post that it had accepted the listing.
Earlier in the day, GunBroker posted a statement saying it had removed the listing created by 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 website or in any of the publicity it is receiving,” the statement read in part.
Zimmerman was acquitted of murder charges in 2013. He said he recently recovered the weapon from the Justice Department and hoped the sale would help him “move past the firearm,” the New York Times reported. He planned to start the bidding for what he calls a “piece of American history” at $5,000.
“I’m a free American. I can do what I’d like with my possessions,” Zimmerman told Orlando, Fla. broadcaster WOFL in an interview Wednesday. He added that proceeds from the sale would be used to help prevent violence against law enforcement by Black Lives Matter, to counter the anti-firearm rhetoric of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and to end the career of Angela Corey, who led the prosecution against Zimmerman.
Martin’s father Tracy released a statement through his lawyer Thursday that said the family would not be commenting on the “actions of that person who murdered Trayvon.”
Martin’s death transformed the 17-year-old into a symbol of racial profiling and set off a larger national protest movement. News of Zimmerman’s decision to sell the gun caused many to react with outrage on social media, with people calling the auction “sick” and “beyond tasteless.”
Morbid as it may seem, murder weapons can fetch top dollar from gun enthusiasts at auction. These are some other famous guns that have brought in hefty profits at the auction block:
- The gun that Jack Ruby used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s murderer, has passed from owner to owner in deals of escalating value since the 1963 murder. It was most recently auctioned in 2008 by real estate developer Anthony Pugliese III, who had purchased the weapon for $220,000 in 1991.
- Wild West outlaw Butch Cassidy turned in his Colt revolver in 1899 as part of an amnesty deal. The cowboy relic sold at a California auction for $175,000 in September 2012.
- Two guns retrieved from the bodies of outlaw couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow sold together at an online auction in September 2012. Parker’s .38 Colt Detective Special fetched $246,000, while Barrow’s Colt Model 1911 sold for $240,000.
Update: This story has been updated to note that Zimmerman’s gun was removed from GunBroker by the site, then re-listed by Zimmerman on UnitedGunGroup.