George Zimmerman can’t get his gun back yet, but Florida police stated he is free to purchase a new one if he would like. The weapon’s release was put on hold by the Department of Justice.
The DOJ announced a new investigation into whether or not Zimmerman violated 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s civil rights in a confrontation last February that left Martin dead.
As a result of the new investigation, the DOJ ordered all evidence in the case held until further notice. And that includes the Kel-Tec PF 9 9mm pistol Zimmerman used to fatally shoot Martin, reports ABC News.
Sanford Police spokesman James McAuliffe explained that the Department of Justice placed the hold, and that “the evidence will not be returned until such time as they release the hold.” However, Zimmerman is not legally barred from purchasing another gun, if that is what he wishes to do.
The gun was initially scheduled to be returned to George Zimmerman following his acquittal of charges that he murdered the unarmed teenager more than a year ago. Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lawyer, stated the day after the verdict that Zimmerman was entitled to his gun and needed it “even more” after the trial.
The 29-year-old former neighborhood watch captain went back into hiding immediately after the verdict, which resulted in protests around the country. Fox News notes that the decision to hold all evidence in the Trayvon Martin case comes after Attorney General Eric Holder announced that his department will “consider all available information” in the case before it decides whether it will pursue a case against George Zimmerman.
Along with George Zimmerman’s gun, the Justice Department will also look at Trayvon Martin’s clothes, cell phone, his bag of Skittles, and the beverage found in his pocket after the shooting took place. The department also set up a public email address to ask for tips and information regarding the case.
Do you think George Zimmerman should get his gun back?