Why is DOJ refusing to give George Zimmerman back his gun?

Why is DOJ refusing to give George Zimmerman back his gun?

Zimmermans gunHere are the facts as they are known. George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin by a Florida court last week. Under Florida state law, all property held in evidence during the trial is to be returned to its rightful owners. In Zimmerman’s case, that includes the 9mm pistol used in the shooting.

But on Thursday the U.S. Justice Department placed a hold on evidence from the trial, including the gun. The question that logically arises is why.

Granted the DOJ is within its rights to hold evidence pending federal legal action against Zimmerman. But double jeopardy prevents Zimmerman from being retried for murder, meaning the only option available to federal prosecutors is to bring a civil rights case against him. Putting aside entirely the view of countless legal experts who argue there is no foundation for such an action, what role would the gun play if charges were brought against Zimmerman?

Reuters hints at a possible answer:

Expectations that Zimmerman would get his … pistol back helped to fuel anger among those Americans who thought [sic] had profiled Martin and should be punished for the teenager’s death last year.

The move then is a purely cynical ploy to diffuse tensions among those threatening violence. As with Holder’s pursuit of Stand Your Ground laws, this move is a clever distraction. This time, however, the attorney general’s actions may be in open defiance of Florida state law.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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