An Ohio gun group has announced it will give George Zimmerman the funds to buy a new firearm, holster, and other gun gear, after the U.S. Department of Justice asked Florida police to “keep possession of all the evidence” from the Trayvon Martin shooting trial.
While the Buckeye Firearms Foundation said it will raise money to buy a replacement for Zimmerman’s Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm pistol, the group also posited a theory that the DOJ is keeping his old gun so Attorney General Eric Holder can launch a campaign for tougher gun legislation.
The DOJ likely wants the evidence maintained in order to conduct a federal probe into the shooting and decide if any federal charges will be filed in the case, but Buckeye Firearms said on its website that the DOJ is overstepping its boundaries.
“This is outrageous," the site says. "Mr. Holder is this nation's chief law enforcement officer. It is his job to uphold the laws, to support and defend our system of justice. This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power. And the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain. Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently, Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration's attack on gun rights.”
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The group ratcheted up the paranoia surrounding Zimmerman’s personal safety after being acquitted, although no attempt to harm him has been reported.
“This is about more than mere principle,” the group wrote. “Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives. More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm.”
After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December, Ken Hanson, legal counsel for Buckeye Firearms Association, said the foundation would start providing "active killer training” to teachers in Ohio.
"It's our kids in these schools," Hanson told a Town Hall meeting at Ohio State University. "We're not asking for permission. We're not going to debate it. We're arming the teachers."