Wife of Malheur occupier auctioning gun

Proceeds would go to paying restitution for refuge damage




The wife of Oregon refuge occupier Jon Ritzheimer is using an online auction site to sell a firearm her husband brought to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, hoping to use the proceeds to cover restitution he and other co-defendants owe for damage to the wildlife sanctuary.

The UnitedGunGroup.com site lists “Jon Ritzheimer’s Oregon Refuge Standoff Sig P238” as a gun Ritzheimer wore during the armed takeover of the federal bird refuge in early 2016.

It is the same website used briefly a year ago by George Zimmerman, who tried to turn a profit on the gun he used to kill Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012. Zimmerman, 32, part of a neighborhood watch, was found not guilty in the February 2012 killing of the unarmed 17-year-old African-American after saying he acted in self-defense.

The Sig handgun was one of only two firearms not confiscated by the FBI from Ritzheimer, who carried it “while watching the back of Robert LaVoy Finicum during many press conferences,” the website says.

The gun has been mounted inside a clear collector’s case, with a signed copy of the U.S. Constitution and a notarized “certificate of authenticity.” It has Finicum’s ranch brand laser etched on its top and side, the site says. Finicum was the occupation spokesman who was killed by police after he sped off from a police stop on Jan. 26, 2016, swerved into a snowbank at a police roadblock and emerged from his truck. Police said he was shot when he reached at least twice into his jacket, where he had a loaded handgun.

The sale of the gun would help pay off “all the restitution” for everyone convicted in the refuge occupation, with any money left over to go to Finicum’s family, the site says. The total amount is $98,000 among 15 defendants. Ritzheimer’s share is $10,000.

The auction began Sunday and lists the gun’s price as $2,100. It seeks bids of $2,200 or up to $12,100 or presents a buy-it-now price of $200,000.