George Zimmerman can't get back the
gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin, but
nothing is keeping him from purchasing
another gun if he wants, Florida police
Federal and local authorities said plans to
return Zimmerman's Kel Tec 9 pistol were
put on hold after the Department of
Justice announced a new investigation to
determine whether Zimmerman violated
17-year-old Martin's civil rights.
"The Department of Justice put a hold on
all of the evidence in the case. The
evidence will not be returned until such
time as they release the hold," said
Sanford Police spokesman James
McAuliffe, however, told ABC News that
there is nothing legally preventing
Zimmerman, who was acquitted in
Martin's murder on Saturday, from
purchasing a new firearm.
"I do not believe that
there is" any legal
would not be able to
gun, McAuliffe said.
acquitted by a jury of
six women who
found he acted in
self-defense when he
shot the unarmed
teenager in February
The verdict produced
an outcry ranging
from Martin's parents
to protests in cities
across the country.
into hiding following
Mark O'Mara said
entitled to get the
gun back and needed
it "even more" than before his acquittal,
given the controversy surrounding the
case and frequent threats to his life.
"I think that he feels truly in his heart that
if he did not have that weapon that night
he might not be here.... [He] would have
continued to get beat even though he was
screaming for help," O'Mara told ABC
News in an exclusive interview last week.
Earlier this week, Attorney General Eric
Holder called Martin's death
"unnecessary" and vowed to proceed with
a federal case.
Zimmerman's attorney was travelling and
not available for comment on the decision
to retain all evidence pending DOJ orders.
Zimmerman's brother, Robert, also
declined to talk about the gun.