A group that represents gun owners in Ohio is offering to replace the gun formerly owned by George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who was recently acquitted of killing an unarmed teenager in self defense. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports on what the effort by the Ohio gun group.
The Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s Ken Hansen says members of his group want to help George Zimmerman now that he’s been vindicated of criminal charges against him. The Ohio gun group wants to make sure Zimmerman can protect himself.
Hansen: "When we heard that the Department of Justice was ordering the Florida police to withhold Mr. Zimmerman’s gun, we decided that we need to provide him a way to defend himself and family etc, so we sent out a fundraising appeal. Our goal is to raise money for Mr. Zimmerman to replace his gun, ammunition, holster, any associated gear, any ballistic vest that he feels is appropriate for defense of himself and his family."
Hoover: "We’ve all just been sort of appalled that they would even think such a thing."
That’s Toby Hoover with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. She thinks Zimmerman would be even faster to react to a perceived threat of violence now.
Hoover: "I think he would react much quicker than any other person because he is afraid. He’s been led to believe and maybe rightfully so that he is in some kind of danger, that people are really angry about the verdict and about what he did and so if you are living like that, you are just going to easily believe that anyone who approaches you has a gun and is going to use it against you."
Hansen says his group has already raised an amount in the mid four figures. The gun that Zimmerman used in the killing is being saved by authorities for evidence in future legal proceedings. There is no word yet on whether or when Zimmerman will take the gun group up on its offer.