George Zimmerman tried a second time Thursday to auction off the firearm he used to kill 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012, but both gun-selling websites yanked the listing before bidding was to begin on what Zimmerman described as a "piece of history."
A statement posted on the first website GunBroker.com said listings are user generated, and that the company reserved the right to reject any listing at its discretion.
"Mr. Zimmerman never contacted anyone at GunBroker.com prior to or after the listing was created and no one at (the website) has any relationship with Zimmerman," the company wrote in its statement.
It added, "We want no part in the listing on our web site or in any of the publicity it is receiving."
The listing, which got more than 185,000 views, was replaced at mid-morning Thursday by a message that said, without elaboration, "Sorry, but the item you have requested is no longer in the system."
Zimmerman told the Orlando Sentinel that GunBroker.com was not "prepared for the traffic and publicity surrounding the auction of my firearm. It has now been placed with another auction house."
The new listing for the Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm firearm was posted on unitedgungroup.com. That site apparently went down a few minutes later.
United Gun Group said in a statement Thursday night they pulled Zimmerman's listing from the site because the auction is not in the organization's best interest.
“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," the organization wrote.
Zimmerman wrote in both listings that that he was "honored and humbled" to announce the sale of the weapon and set the bidding to start at $5,000. Similar firearms normally sell on the site for around $200.
"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," he wrote.
Zimmerman, 32, noted the Justice Department returned the weapon to him recently and it still bears the case number written on it in silver permanent marker.
"This is a piece of American History," he wrote. "It has been featured in several publications and in current University text books."
Zimmerman, then a neighborhood watch volunteer, shot and killed Trayvon in February 2012, in a confrontation as the unarmed teenager was heading back to a relative's house in Sanford, Fla., after buying snacks at a convenience store.
A jury found Zimmerman, who alleged that Trayvon was trying to bash his head on the pavement during a struggle, not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, issued a statement Thursday through his lawyer, Benjamin Crump, saying a foundation in his son's name is focusing on ending senseless gun violence and "has no comment on the actions of that person that murdered Trayvon."
In his listing, Zimmerman said he had turned down several offers for the notorious firearm because the buyers planned to use it "in a fashion I did not feel comfortable with."
He claimed in his auction listing that the "Smithsonian Museum" in Washington, D.C., had expressed interest in buying the firearm, however, the Smithsonian Institution said Thursday on Twitter, "We have never expressed interest in collecting George Zimmerman’s firearm, and have no plans to ever collect or display it in any museums."
Instead, Zimmerman said he planned to use the proceeds from the sale of the gun — which he called an "American Firearm Icon" — to fight "Black Lives Matter" violence against law enforcement officers and to counter "Hillary Clinton's anti-firearm rhetoric." He also said money would be used to "ensure the demise of Angela Correy's (sic) persecution career." Corey was the special prosecutor appointed to investigate Martin's death.
In a conversation with Fox35 in Orlando, Zimmerman said if he doesn't sell the firearm, it will go in a safe and "never be used or seen again."
Zimmerman, who has had several run-ins with the law since the Martin shooting, including domestic abuse charges and an alleged road rage incident, told Fox35 that he has had death threats while in hiding and that it is "time to move past the firearm."
"What I have decided to do is not cower," he told the TV station. "I'm a free American. I can do what I want with my possessions."