VIERA, Fla. - George Zimmerman's defense attorney will be the featured speaker at a Gun Rights Preservation Forum next month in Viera.
The Nov. 4 event, organized by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Central East Florida, also will include a raffle in which the prize is a Kel-Tec 9 mm semiautomatic pistol and a Bible.
Mark O'Mara will speak at the event. He was the defense attorney for Zimmerman, the Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer who in February 2012 fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin with the same type of Kel-Tec pistol as is the prize in the raffle. In July, a jury acquitted Zimmerman of charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, supporting the defense claim that Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense. Martin was walking through Zimmerman's gated townhome community when the confrontation occurred.
Bob White, chairman of the local chapter of the libertarian-focused Republican Liberty Caucus, told Local 6 News partner Florida Today that he expects O'Mara and the handgun/Bible raffle to help attract a large crowd. The organization typically draws 50 to 60 people to its monthly meetings. For the Nov. 4 event, White expects about 200.
Tickets for the gun and Bible raffle are $15 apiece or five for $50. White said the combined value of the gun and the Bible are about $500.
"I would say it's a proven, reliable, self-defense firearm," said Marc Boileau, the owner of Affordable Pawn and Gun in Melbourne, which is working with the Republican Liberty Caucus in providing the Kel-Tec PF-9 as the raffle prize. Boileau also noted that Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc., is based in Cocoa.
White said the connection between the raffle prize and Zimmerman is coincidental, and that the Republican Liberty Caucus chose a Kel-Tec gun as a way to support a local company.
"We basically thought this would be a great way to highlight the Second Amendment and raise money for our organization," White said.
White said the money raised from the raffle will help support lobbying and public-education efforts related to personal-liberty issues; as well as for the Liberty Catalyst Fund, which advocates for certain political candidates.
During the event, O'Mara will receive the Republican Liberty Caucus of Central East Florida's annual Jefferson Cup Award. White said the award is given to someone who speaks "truth to power." He said O'Mara earned it by standing up against the prosecution of the case against Zimmerman and standing up to the media coverage of the case.
Among the previous winners of the award are Brevard County Clerk of Clerks Scott Ellis and Brevard County Commissioner Trudie Infantini.
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