Homeless Zimmerman Signs Autographs at Gun Show

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 07:27 PM

By Jason Devaney

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A Florida gun show had a well-known figure signing autographs on Saturday: George Zimmerman.

The presence of Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, forced the New Orlando Gun Show to switch venues at the last minute. Organizers said the original location canceled two days before the show because of a community backlash.

In a paired-down version of the show at the Arms Room, a gun store in Orlando, Zimmerman shook hands and signed autographs for about 200 customers.

Zimmerman told My Fox Orlando that he is in constant fear for his safety and always wears a bulletproof vest and carries a gun.

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A Fox reporter questioned his presence at the high-profile event, his first announced public appearance since his trial ended last July.

"The Arms Room family has gone through a tremendous amount of work to secure the location," Zimmerman said. "Of course I always stay cognizant of the fact that there are threats. The concept of being able to pay them back for what they did for me and seeing my supporters face to face was something I just couldn't pass up."

Story continues below video.

FOX 35 News Orlando

In the wide-ranging interview, Zimmerman said he is homeless — he hops from hotel to hotel. He also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, and recently sold a painting of an American flag for $100,000. He recently finished another painting, this one of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, who argued he should be convicted during his trial.

"I learned through the first few paintings [that] it was a therapeutic release for me," Zimmerman said.

When asked why he chose to paint a picture of Corey, he replied: "Why not? ... It's just an expression, that's all my paintings are. Same way with the flag…. Just an expression of my feelings."

As for why he is always armed, Zimmerman said it’s not necessarily for his safety.

"It’s not so much for my safety as it is so much for those around me," he said. "I can be around my family and something might happen to them. There's children around me, etc. Those threats…. I have to be able to defend myself like any American."

Fox also asked Zimmerman about a celebrity boxing match in which he was scheduled to appear. Zimmerman said it was supposed to benefit a local animal shelter, but the promoter hyped up the event — and his presence — so much that it got out of control.

The event was eventually canceled.

"It was a small venue, and it was giving me the opportunity to provide them with much-needed funds," he said. "Unfortunately, it turned into something that it was never intended to be. It was supposed to be a friendly charity event to raise money for a local dog shelter."

Zimmerman would not comment on the legal troubles he’s faced since the trial, which include traffic stops in Florida and Texas along with two domestic violence cases.

Editor's Note: Over 50? Check Out These Free Government Giveaways...

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