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Gun Rights Group Collecting Donations To Buy Zimmerman New Gun

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George Zimmerman leaves the courtroom a free man after being found not guilty, on the 25th day of his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center on July 13, 2013 in Sanford, Fla. (credit: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images)

George Zimmerman leaves the courtroom a free man after being found not guilty, on the 25th day of his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center on July 13, 2013 in Sanford, Fla. (credit: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images)

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CLEVELAND (CBS Cleveland/AP) — A non-profit gun rights group is collecting donations to buy George Zimmerman a new firearm.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation created the “Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund” to raise money to buy him a new gun after the Justice Department placed a hold on all evidence related to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said during an NAACP convention in Orlando last week that the Justice Department has an open investigation into the case. The department is looking into whether Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights. Zimmerman was legally entitled to reclaim his gun he used to shoot Martin before the Justice Department placed a hold on evidence.

“George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back,” the foundation wrote on its website. “And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants.”

The foundation calls Holder’s actions an “abuse of power.”

“This is about more than mere principle. Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives. More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm,” the foundation states.

The foundation added that “the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain.”

Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in Martin’s death last year. Jurors found that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot the unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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