George Zimmerman’s second attempt at selling the 9mm pistol used to kill Trayvon Martin doesn’t seem to be going as planned but the auction is still on — for now.
It appears internet trolls Thursday night took over the auction on UnitedGunGroup.com, placing bogus bids and raising the price to more than $65 million.
United Gun Group released a statement this afternoon saying they’re a “pro-2nd Amendment platform for law-abiding citizen to exercise their constitutional rights.”
“Unless the law has been violated, it is the intention of United Gun Group to allow its members to use any of the available features. While not always popular, this is where we stand,” the statement reads.
Zimmerman first listed the Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol for sale Wednesday night on GunBroker.com.
After an overwhelming amount of attention, GunBroker.com pulled the post just minutes before the auction was set to start at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Hours later, though, Zimmerman confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel that he started a new auction on UnitedGunGroup.com.
The post looked almost exactly the same with a starting bid of $5,000 and references to the gun being a piece of “American history.”
The company quickly released a statement saying as “long as Mr. Zimmerman (or any other UGG member) is obeying the letter of the law, his personal firearm sale will be permitted on our network.”
But soon after word got out, the website crashed and was down most of Thursday evening.
It was back up this morning with more than 1,000 bids, made by just 10 people. One person made seven bids in a row and less than a minute apart, each time outbidding himself and upping the price a total of more than $25,000.
The price has held steady today at more than $65 million. The auction is scheduled to last until next week. It’s unclear if United Gun Group has plans to reset the price.
Thursday evening, United Gun Group posted a statement to Twitter saying they were terminating Zimmerman’s post because they didn’t feel it was “in the best interest of the organization to continue to host this sale on our platform.”
The tweet was deleted shortly after it posted.
In the statement released this afternoon, the company said many people were affected by the 2012 incident and that they are “truly sorry to the Martin family for their loss.”
But they’re goal is “to do our part to defend liberty.”
In the auction listing, which includes photos of the gun from his second-degree murder trial in 2013, Zimmerman says the gun was recently returned to him from the U.S. Department of Justice. He says it’s fully-functional and “currently has the case number written on it in silver permanent marker.”
The former Neighborhood Watch volunteer was acquitted of shooting and killing Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, during a struggle in 2012 in a Sanford neighborhood. Zimmerman said he was defending himself when he shot the teen.
(c)2016 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.