George Zimmerman has decided to auction off the pistol he used to kill black teenager Trayvon Martin, in a case that sparked protests across the US. Zimmerman described the gun as a "piece of American history."
The bidding for Zimmerman's 9 mm handgun is set to start on Thursday, according to the ad he posted online.
The former neighborhood watch volunteer from Florida used the weapon to shoot and kill unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. During the subsequent trial, Zimmerman pleaded self-defense and was eventually acquitted of murder charges.
Speaking to Florida TV channel WOFL on Wednesday, the 32-year-old Zimmerman said he had only recently received the pistol back from the US Justice Department.
"I thought it's time to move past the firearm," Zimmerman said. "And if I sell it and it sells, I move past it. Otherwise, it's going in a safe for my grandkids and never to be used or seen again."
Martin's shooting has sparked a fierce nationwide debate on racial relations in the United States, with many accusing partly Hispanic Zimmerman of racism. Similar cases in Ferguson and other US cities have also prompted outrage.
Money to be used against prosecutor
In his online ad, Zimmerman described the gun as the "American Firearm Icon" (sic) he used to defend himself and "end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin." He also termed it "a piece of American History," claiming that the renowned Smithsonian Museum was interested in displaying the weapon.
The bidding is to start at $5,000 (4,380 euros). According to the auction notice, part of the profits would be used to end the career of his Zimmerman's prosecutor, Angela Corey, and Democratic Party presidential contender "Hillary Clinton's anti-firearm rhetoric." Zimmerman also accused the US Department of Justice of trying to render the gun inoperable "on behalf of B. Hussein Obama."
The Trayvon Martin Foundation, which was set up after the teenager was killed in order to US stem gun violence in the, refused to comment on the Zimmerman's auction.
An attorney for Martin's family told WOFL that the organization was "laser focused" on their mission during the US election season. "As such, the foundation has no comment on the actions of that person," he said in a statement.