It appears that George Zimmerman will not be getting his gun back despite his acquittal. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice have requested that the Sanford, Fla., Police Department not return to Zimmerman his gun or any other pieces of evidence used in the Trayvon Martin murder trial.
More than 250 items of evidence from the trial, including Zimmerman’s gun, Martin’s clothes, Martin’s cell phone and the bag of Skittles and Arizona iced tea Martin was carrying at the time, are being held by the Sanford police. It’s likely that the Justice Department ordered the hold on the evidence while it continues to investigate possible violations of Martin’s civil rights when Zimmerman followed him through his neighborhood.
"The evidence is just in a hold status, pending their DOJ investigation," Sanford police spokesman Capt. Jim McAuliffe told the Sentinel.
Since Zimmerman’s acquittal on Saturday, the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder have considered pursuing federal charges against Zimmerman, under the premise that Zimmerman deliberately infringed on Martin’s civil rights by following him. In order for the federal charges to stick, prosecutors would have to prove that Zimmerman acted maliciously based on Martin’s race. At the same time, Martin’s family is reportedly considering a civil wrongful death suit against Zimmerman.
While Zimmerman may not get his gun back, that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to easily snag a replacement firearm. Orlando’s WKMG reports that a DeLand, Fla., gun shop has offered Zimmerman a free handgun of his choice.
"Upon receiving your confirmation that he is well within his legal rights to concealed carry, our company would like to offer Mr. Zimmerman a free firearm. We currently have the same model in stock, or he could (choose) another weapon suitable for concealed carry," gun shop Pompano Pat's wrote to Zimmerman’s lawyer in a letter.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.