George Zimmerman Auctions Gun
May 12th, 2016
Return of Firearms After Criminal Charges Dropped
In the strangest twist of the remarkable life of George Zimmerman, the Orlando man charged and acquitted for killing an unarmed teenager in 2013, Zimmerman has decided to auction the gun used to kill the boy. What???? Who does that? Who advertises and profits from killing another person? I think he needs a competency evaluation before he's allowed to buy another gun. The auction was set today at 11 on Gunbroker.com, but the listing seems to have been taken down - whether by Gunbroker or Zimmerman is unclear. The gun is a Kel tec PF9 9 mm handgun.
According to the news reports on this auction, Zimmerman apparently advertised the gun as a "piece of American history." (a piece that most people would like to forget) Zimmerman was acquitted of all murder charges when he shot and killed an unarmed teenager in 2012. His defense was Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law which (sometimes) allows a person to react with deadly force if they reasonably believed their own life was in danger. The law is convoluted and applies only in certain circumstances and I have definitely seen cases where the stand your ground defense did not work and the person landed in prison for life.
But the bigger question is "How did he get the gun back?" He did it legally by filing a petition with the court and serving it on law enforcement. In Fact Florida Statute 933, which specifically governs search warrants and evidence seized during criminal investigations, allows it.
Specifically, if you are arrested and your gun is seized, yet no charges are filed, or you are found Not Guilty after trial - you can apply for the return of the property seized. This is assuming the property is legal. In Pinellas and Pasco Counties there is a specific process for the return of property when criminal charges are dropped.
Most often this happens in domestic violence cases. If you are served with a Domestic Violence Injunction, the serving law enforcement officer asks you if you own a gun. If you do - he takes it. The same with an arrest for Domestic Battery. Many domestic battery charges are dropped, as are domestic violence injunctions. If that happens, you can file a petition with the court and ask for your gun back.
That's exactly what happened in Zimmerman's case. Because he was found Not Guilty, he was legally able to request the return of his property. And, he got it back, even though it was used to kill another person. Who would want it back?
If you need help getting your property back when charges were dropped call us. I have successfully gotten my client's guns, cash, and a variety of other things back after the charges were dropped. It's legal and it's your right, however morally distasteful George Zimmerman's gun auction may be.