It appears Internet trolls took over the auction for the gun used to kill Trayvon Martin and jacked the price up to $65 million.
George Zimmerman, who fatally shot the black teen in 2012, began auctioning the gun Friday morning. Someone created an account on the gun auction site with the name “Racist McShootface” and egged on the huge numbers with the highest bids topping $65 million, USA Today reports. That account has since been deleted, and the auction still has more than four days to go. Other questionable account names that bid included “Donald Trump” and “Tamir Rice.”
Zimmerman originally posted the 9mm he used to kill Martin on GunBroker.com with the auction set to begin at 11 a.m. Thursday. The bidding was to start at $5,000, but just before the auction began, the page was taken down. GunBroker.com told the Orlando Sentinel it took the auction down because it wanted no part in the “publicity it was receiving.”
“Mr. Zimmerman never contacted anyone at GunBroker.com prior to or after the listing was created and no one at GunBroker.com has any relationship with Zimmerman,” GunBroker.com said in a statement. “Our site rules state that we reserve the right to reject listings at our sole discretion, and have done so with the Zimmerman listing.”
Zimmerman then put the gun up for sale on UnitedGunGroup.com. But that site briefly took the gun down Thursday night, saying, “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.”
But the site put the gun back up for sale Friday morning and soon the bids skyrocketed. Zimmerman was acquitted in the racially charged case in 2013. The acquittal sparked protests and accusations of a racially biased justice system and helped fuel the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Zimmerman promised in the listing a portion of the proceeds would go to fight Black Lives Matter violence against police.
“Prospective bidders, I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon,” the listing reads. “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. Many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. This is a piece of American History. It has been featured in several publications and in current University text books.”
The Smithsonian has since issued a statement saying it’s not interested in the weapon. Zimmerman’s listing ends with the phrase in Latin, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
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