Outraged that the U.S. Justice Department has ordered Florida to hand over the weapon own by George Zimmerman, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation is looking to buy a replacement handgun for the jury-acquitted man.
The order to seize and turn over Zimmerman's handgun was done at the behest of U.S. Attorney
General Eric Holder.
His order came following Zimmerman's second-degree murder trail in which the one-time community block watch volunteer was found not guilty earlier this week by six female jurors who were impaneled to hear the case.
Yet while Florida state law dictates that since Zimmerman was found not guilty the pistol he used in self-defense to shoot Trayvon Martin the U.S. Justice Department is currently investigating the incident for any possible federal civil rights violations.
Thus, Zimmerman's semi-automatic pistol – and all other evidence collected in the case – has been impounded by the federal government.
Outraged, Second Amendment Rights proponents say Zimmerman has every right to regain physical custody of his firearm.
However, since the federal government says “no” the next best thing is to offer Zimmerman a replacement via providing him with the funds necessary to legally acquire a second handgun.
Here is the test of what the Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Foundation organization says on its most recent e-edition newsletter:
"Whatever you might think about the Zimmerman verdict, the fact remains that we are a nation of laws, not mob justice.
"George Zimmerman was tried in a court of law and found NOT GUILTY. And that entitles him to continue exercising all his rights, including his Second Amendment right to own a firearm.
"But now Eric Holder and the U.S. Justice department have stepped in to stop Zimmerman from taking possession of his property.
" 'Here's the story from the Daily Mail:
" 'The U.S. Department of Justice, overseen by Attorney General Eric Holder, has ordered the Sanford, Florida police department to keep possession of all the evidence from George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial - including the exonerated neighborhood watch volunteer's gun.
" 'Sanford police confirmed on Thursday that the DOJ asked the agency not to return any pieces of evidence to their owners. Zimmerman was expected to get his firearm back by month's end.
" 'The development is a sign that the criminal section of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is seriously investigating Zimmerman to determine if federal civil rights charges should be filed.' "
"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.
"To be fair to all concerned, we have remained silent on the Zimmerman trial. We allowed the evidence to unfold and the justice system to run its course.
"Now the jury has spoken and that should be the end of the matter.
"George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back.
"And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants.
"This is about more than mere principle. 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.
"Gun owners must stand together and refuse to allow an injustice like this to go unanswered.
"If we choose to sit idly by while the full force and weight of the federal government descends upon a free man, it will embolden others to take liberties with our rights.
"We know what some will say about this. We know we will be reviled for taking this stand. Our motives will be impugned and our words will be twisted. But that happens already.
"Those who work against our rights will always do this. It hasn't stopped us before and it won't stop us now.
"We have created the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund. We encourage you to donate whatever you can afford, $100 ... $50 ... $25 ... even just $10.
"We will provide Mr. Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear.
"The rest will be set aside to fight similar injustices ... and they happen all the time.
"Buckeye Firearms Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donation is tax-deductible. Every penny will be used to fight for Second Amendment rights.
"We are all volunteers who give our time freely to fight for what we believe in.
"Forward this message to your friends and family.
"Don't let this already tragic situation turn into a travesty of justice."
Anyone interested in donating, contact the Buckeye Firearms Association and Foundation at www.buckeyefirearms.org.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn