ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 has learned that the online auction site for the gun that George Zimmerman used to shoot and kill Trayvon Martin that was open to the public was a fake auction and that a real auction for pre-qualified bidders only was underway privately.
The United Gun Group, which hosted the auction on its website, told News 6 that they had at least one verified offer of $120,000 for Zimmerman's gun and that they had 22 bidders on its real auction. A total of 42 bids were made.
The highest bid listed on the false auction site had a high bid near $140,000. When that auction ended at noon, the highest bid listed on UnitedGunGroup.com was $138,900, with nine online users placing more than 180 bids. The winning bidder on the fake auction was listed as John Smith.
United Gun Group said they had two auctions going on at the same time to "troll the trolls," and that this time, it worked.
It's not clear who the real auction winner was. News 6 contacted Zimmerman to see who the real winner was and if he wanted to comment.
Zimmerman replied saying he will give an interview if his stipulations are met, which were putting Zimmerman up in a four-star hotel and paying him $1,000 a day.
The United Gun Group tweeted earlier that Zimmerman had informed them that he was in the process of vetting several offers and verifying funds. (See full tweet below.)
Zimmerman later released a statement, thanking God for a successful auction that "raised funds for several worthy causes."
First and foremost, I would like to thank and give the glory to God for a successful auction that has raised funds for several worthy causes. I would like to thank Todd Underwood and UnitedGunGroup.com for their moral fortitude in hosting my firearm auction. I would also like to thank all members of UnitedGunGroup for their support and words of encouragement. I also appreciate the many former members of GunBroker AKA GunJoker.com for terminating their relationship with the Nazi loving, (go to their website and search “Nazi”) liberal, liars at Gunbroker.com. At this time, the auction with United Gun Group is closed. The process of notifying the winning bidder will begin immediately. The winning bidder will ultimately decide if they want their information to be maintained in confidentiality and they are assured that I will withhold their identity from all media and private parties. Please visit this page GMZ1776.com or email GMZfirearm@gmail.com for updates and notifications of future auction items.
~Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum~
The Trayvon Martin Foundation declined to comment on the sale of the gun.
The first listing for the gun, posted on a different website last week, prompted worldwide headlines and controversy, resulting in the auction being pulled from the site. The gun was later posted on UnitedGunGroup.com.
The Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol that Zimmerman is trying to sell is the one that he used to shoot Martin in 2012 after a confrontation with the unarmed teenager in his Sanford neighborhood.
Zimmerman called police to report what he described as a suspicious person -- Martin -- walking in his neighborhood, then disregarded police instructions not to confront him. He said the teen attacked him and he shot in self-defense.
A jury acquitted Zimmerman in 2013.
In his post introducing the auction, Zimmerman touted the handgun as "a piece of American history."
It still carries the case number from his trial in silver permanent marker, Zimmerman said.
When first listing the gun, Zimmerman wrote: "I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American firearm icon. 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."
Zimmerman said the gun had recently been returned to him by the Department of Justice.