Auctioneers spurn gun used to kill black teenager Trayvon Martin

Some believe the gun should be donated to a black history museum Credit: Reuters

Two of the leading gun auctioneers in the US have refused to handle the sale of the firearm used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, citing ethical grounds, it has been reported.

The 9mm gun belongs to George Zimmerman, a onetime neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Martin in 2012 but was cleared of the 17-year-old's murder by a Florida jury after arguing he acted in self-defence.

Two auctioneers - Wes Cowan of Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati and James Julia of James D Julia Auctioneers in Fairfield, Maine - both said on Friday that Zimmerman had called their establishments hoping to consign the gun with them.

But both turned him down.

Cowan said he never returned the call. "Morally and ethically, no, I wouldn't do it," he said.

Julia said he instructed his employees not to accept the gun.

The 9mm gun was used to kill teenager Trayvon Martin Credit: State Attorney's Office/Handout/Reuters

Zimmerman has struggled to sell the weapon, a Kel-Tec PF-9 - an online auction was stopped minutes before it was due to go live, while false bids on the United Gun Group's website, saw the bidding pushed up to $65 million with bidder names such as "Racist McShootFace".

Herman Darvick, a collector and auctioneer who helped sell the gun that killed Lee Harvey Oswald, John F Kennedy's assassin, said selling the Zimmerman gun was outside the bounds of acceptable behavior.

"No, I wouldn't touch it," Darvick said.

"If anything, it should go to a black history museum. He shouldn't get a penny for it."

Zimmerman has not commented, but earlier in the week he told Orlando TV station WOFL that the gun was his to sell and he would not be "cowed" by critics.