'Trayvon Martin gun auction' stopped at the last minute

The gun used to kill Trayvon Martin was set to be auctioned online. Credit: State Attorney's Office/Handout/Reuters

The online auction of the 9mm gun used to kill unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman has been stopped at the last minute.

The weapon was removed from the GunBroker.com website for unknown reasons just before the bidding was due to start.

The listing had told potential buyers that buying the gun is an "opportunity to own a piece of American history".

The auction was set to begin at 4pm (BST) today and end 24 hours later. The bidding started at $5,000 US dollars or £3,460. But just before the listing was set to go live it was no longer there.

Earlier, Zimmerman told a Florida TV station that he wanted to do the auction to "move past the firearm".

Zimmerman was cleared of Trayvon's murder after he said he acted in self-defence. Credit: Reuters

The gun had been in federal custody since the former Florida neighbourhood watch volunteer was cleared over Trayvon's shooting death in 2012.

The 32-year-old said he was defending himself when he shot and killed the unarmed teenager in a gated community near Orlando in Florida.

In a statement before the item was removed form the website the Trayvon Martin Foundation said it "has no comment on the actions of that person."