Friday, August 23, 2013
George Zimmerman, who is already packing a pistol, toured a gun maker's factory this week and asked whether he could buy a shotgun.
Zimmerman, acquitted a month ago of killing teenager Trayvon Martin with a Kel-Tec 9 mm pistol, toured the Kel-Tec plant on Thursday in Cocoa, Fla. The plant is about an hour's drive from Sanford, the community where Martin was killed.
Zimmerman, 29, took a tour of the assembly plant and asked about the legality of buying a shotgun and smiled in a photograph with an employee, according to TMZ, which first reported the visit.
Representatives for Kel-Tec were not immediately available for comment, but the Kel-Tec web site says weapons are not sold at the plant. The site also states that they do not give tours, but that "Special arrangements can sometimes be made for Military, Law enforcement, or Educational purposes only."
Zimmerman's brother, Robert, told ABCNews.com in an email that the visit is a "non-story."
"Grown men buy guns or shop for guns or visit gun manufacturers every day," he said.
In the days after his acquittal, Zimmerman's lead attorney, Mark O'Mara , said that his client had no regrets about carrying a gun the night he killed Martin and that Zimmerman intended to rearm himself and "needs it now more than ever."
"There are a lot of people out there who actually hate him, though they shouldn't," said O'Mara. He added that Zimmerman may need to protect himself from potential outside threats.
Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury of six women who found he acted in self-defense when he shot the unarmed teenager in February 2012.
The verdict produced an outcry ranging from Martin's parents to protests in cities across the country. Zimmerman immediately went into hiding following the verdict.
He emerged less than a week later when he was one of two men who came to the aid of Dana and Mark Gerstle and their two children, who were trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford.
A week later, Zimmerman was pulled over for speeding in Forney, Texas. He can be heard on a dashboard camera video telling the officer he had a gun in his glove compartment.
After Zimmerman was checked for any outstanding warrants he was let go with a verbal warning.