After the auction to buy George Zimmerman’s Kel-Tec 9mm pistol was scrapped twice and condemned by politicians and pundits, the weapon reappeared on the United Gun Group website with biddings up to $65 million.
It’s unclear if all the bidders are legitimate — according to USA Today, the highest bid that appears to be authentic is for $290,000 by an individual identified as Ali Safaoui. Another bidder driving the offer up identified themselves as Tamir Rice. And the top bidder’s online name appeared to be “Racist McShootface.”
Tamir Rice was the 12-year-old boy shot and killed by Cleveland police in November 2014. He was playing with a toy gun.
Late Thursday, there was some confusion as to what happened to Zimmerman’s gun, which was recently returned to him by the U.S. Justice Department.
From USA Today:
United Gun Group said in a statement Thursday night that it pulled Zimmerman’s listing because the auction is not in the organization’s best interest.
“Our mission is to esteem the 2nd amendment and provide a safe and secure platform for firearms enthusiasts and law-abiding citizens; our association with Mr. Zimmerman does not help us achieve that objective,” the organization wrote.
However, the auction was back up-and-running on the company’s website early Friday.
In his initial description on GunBroker.com, which was deleted because he failed to contact the website prior to the posting, the 32-year-old former neighborhood watchman called the weapon “a piece of American history” and insisted that the Smithsonian Museum was interested in acquiring the firearm. The Smithsonian immediately came forward denying the claim.
Zimmerman says he plans to use some of the proceeds to fight back against the Black liberation collective, Black Lives Matter, a movement born out of Trayvon Martin’s killing and to counter “Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric.”
It isn’t clear if the United Gun Group will pull the bidding yet again to racist trolling or the controversy surrounding the item. Zimmerman used the weapon in the February 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, claiming self-defense. Martin’s death sparked nationwide protest and a conversation about the protection of African-American children from police brutality and vigilantes.
SOURCE: USA Today | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty