UPDATED: Thursday, May 12, 2016 4:00 PM EST
In a statement released via Twitter Thursday morning, the Smithsonian Museum responded to claims made by George Zimmerman that they were interested in receiving the firearm he used to kill Trayvon Martin for their exhibits.
Zimmerman wrote in a description for the gun that “many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including The Smithsonian Museum.” On Thursday afternoon, the online gun auction site GunBrokers rejected Zimmerman’s ad to sell the Kel Tec 9mm gun. Another website has decided to sell the weapon, ABC reports.
The website for United Gun Group posted the new link to the gun with a statement from Zimmerman on Thursday afternoon. However, the site apparently went down a few minutes later. The site calls itself a “social market place for the firearms community.”
The former Florida neighborhood watchman who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager who was walking home from a convenience store in February 2012, is auctioning off the firearm he used to kill the 17-year-old, Reuters reports.
Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in July 2013, will reportedly use the proceeds to “challenge presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s gun control policies,” the news site writes. The U.S. Justice Department recently returned the Kel Tec 9mm to Zimmerman, a weapon he is now describing as “a piece of American history.” Zimmerman also said he plans to use a portion of the proceeds to fight Black Lives Matter, the Black liberation movement created by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors after Trayvon’s death to counter state violence against Black communities nationwide.
Watch Roland Martin and NewsOne Now’s coverage of George Zimmerman’s attempt to auction the gun used to kill Trayvon Martin in the video clip below.
“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,” he said in the description.
The number from the Martin case is written on the pistol in silver permanent marker and “many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm,” he said in the description.
It will be auctioned off on Gunbroker.com on Thursday. Bidding starts at $5,000.
In a statement released through family attorney Benjamin Crump, Tracy Martin, father of the slain teenager, wrote that the Trayvon Martin Foundation has “no comment on the person that murdered Trayvon,” reiterating the organization’s mission to end senseless gun violence.
When asked about his decision to auction off the firearm by Orlando television station WOFL-TV, Zimmerman said he’s a “free American.”
“I can do what I want with my possessions,” he said.