ORLANDO, Fla., May 16 (UPI) -- After a delisting the first time and a cadre of phony bidders the second, George Zimmerman hopes the third time's the charm for selling the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin more than four years ago.
Zimmerman's third attempt to sell his 9mm Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol began at auction by United Gun Group on Saturday -- the website's second attempt to sell the gun. The first auction last week, hosted by GunBroker.com, never got off the ground because the company refused to sign off on it.
After controversy shifted the auction site to United Gun Group on Thursday, a line of phony bidders -- with monikers like "Racist McShootFace" and "Donald Trump" -- inflated the auction beyond $65 million. When the sale ended, no serious bidder had taken the weapon at any price.
The persistent attempts to sell the firearm by Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder in Martin's death in July 2013, have generated substantial controversy and criticism -- partly due to the notion of cashing in on notoriety, and partly due to the fashion in which the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer has handled the auctions.
In the listing, Zimmerman, 32, describes the weapon as an "American Firearm Icon" and said, "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."
Some don't believe the 17-year-old Martin attacked Zimmerman the night he was killed, but rather was unfairly profiled and singled out by Zimmerman in his gated Orlando-area community -- and once he was confronted, began fighting for his life.
There is also some question about the veracity of some of Zimmerman's claims in the listing.
"Many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.," the description last week stated. The museum, though, was quick to knock that claim down.
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
The third auction began Saturday. As of Monday afternoon, it had received no bids.
Zimmerman states in the auction listing that he will use part of the proceeds from the sale in attempts to derail the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and the career of Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey, who investigated Martin's death.
The owner of the auction site, Todd Underwood, told CNN Monday that his support of the sale has nothing to do with the teen's tragic death, and everything to do with legal freedoms.
"We are not going to dictate morality to our individuals," he said.