Fla. group drops gun raffle from forum featuring Zimmerman lawyer

Oct. 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM
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MELBOURNE, Fla., Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A Florida conservative group has decided against raffling a gun of the model used to shoot Trayvon Martin at a forum featuring George Zimmerman's lawyer.

Bob White, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Central East Florida, told Florida Today in an email the group will hold a raffle for the Kel-Tec PF-9, a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun, separately, probably in early December. The group also plans to include a Bible in the raffle.

Mark O'Mara, who won an acquittal for Zimmerman on a murder charge earlier this year, is one of the speakers for "Gun Rights Preservation Forum," to be held Monday at a Holiday Inn in Viera. White said O'Mara raised concerns about holding the gun raffle at the event.

White said he only learned the Kel-Tec was the gun involved in the 2012 shooting when Florida Today asked him about it. He said the group wanted to support a local company, because Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc., is based in Cocoa, Fla.

"We have no doubt that George Zimmerman used this weapon legally in the defense of his own life. Certainly, its use prevented further serious bodily harm to himself, and he may very well have saved his own life by its use," White said. "We also recognize, though, that another life was lost in the process, and we do have empathy for the parents of Trayvon Martin. Losing their son was tragic, regardless of the circumstances."

Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was shot. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, began trailing Martin as he walked to a relative's house in a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman said Martin jumped him and he fired in self-defense.

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