19 May 2016

Gun used to kill US teen sold in private auction

10:52 am on 19 May 2016

The handgun used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 has been sold in a private auction, according to the website that hosted the sale.

Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda as he shows George Zimmerman's gun to the jury while presenting the state's closing arguments against Zimmerman during his trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Florida.

Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda shows George Zimmerman's gun to the jury during his trial in 2013. Photo: AFP

George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of Trayvon's murder, auctioned the gun, calling it an "American icon".

Auction host, UnitedGunGroup.com, did not disclose the sale price.

The sale of the gun has drawn criticism from those claiming Mr Zimmerman was seeking to profit from Trayvon's death, however, gun rights advocates have applauded him for exercising his legal rights.

There were two separate auctions being hosted on UnitedGunGroup.com - one for prequalified bidders and one for the general public.

UnitedGunGroup.com said that the highest public bid of $US138,900 by "John Smith" was not authentic.

"He was on the fake auction page, we had two auctions going at the same time," the company said in a tweet.

Another gun auction website and two other prominent gun auctioneers had previously refused to sell the weapon.

The pistol used to kill unarmed US black teenager Trayvon Martin appears to have been removed from an online auction.

The pistol used to kill unarmed US black teenager Trayvon Martin has been sold in an online auction. Photo: SCREENSHOT/BBC

Earlier attempts to sell the gun online were hacked and fake bids were placed, causing that auction to be cancelled without a sale.

George Zimmerman in court in 2012.

George Zimmerman. Photo: AFP / Pool

Last week's highest bid, of $US65 million, was posted by one "Racist McShootFace".

The killing of the black teenager by Mr Zimmerman, who was acquitted after arguing self-defence, helped launch the national Black Lives Matter social movement.

Mr Zimmerman's name has been in headlines several times since his closely watched trial. Twice, charges of assaulting his girlfriend were dropped.

-BBC

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