An auction page set to sell the gun Florida man George Zimmerman used to kill teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 suddenly disappeared minutes before the auction was to begin Thursday morning.
Zimmerman wrote on the auction page that the 9 mm Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol was recently returned to him from the U.S. Department of Justice. The starting bid for the weapon, which he called an "American Firearm Icon," was $5,000.
It is not clear why the auction did not happen, but the gunbroker.com page where Zimmerman's weapon was to be sold now says it "is no longer in the system."
The 32-year-old wrote that a portion of the proceeds would be used in opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement and Hillary Clinton. He also noted that Thursday marks exactly one year since a May 11, 2015, incident in which police say a man fired a shot at Zimmerman. Matthew Apperson has been charged with second-degree attempted murder in that case.
Zimmerman also wrote that the Smithsonian Institution "expressed interest" in the gun, a claim denied by the museum.
"No we're not collecting his gun, and no we've never requested it," Linda St. Thomas, a spokeswoman for the museum, told Crimesider.
We have never expressed interest in collecting George Zimmerman’s firearm, and have no plans to ever collect or display it in any museums— Smithsonian (@smithsonian) May 12, 2016
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder following the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old boy. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer who claimed the shooting was in self-defense.
Representatives of the auction site did not reply to requests for comment Thursday. In 2012, gun range targets designed to look like Martin were reportedly advertised on the site, but were removed following media coverage.