On Wednesday, Florida state prosecution dropped the domestic violence charges against George Zimmerman from a November dispute with his girlfriend Samantha Scheibe.
Because the charges were dropped, there are no legal barriers preventing Zimmerman from getting his firearms back. At the time of his arrest, Zimmerman had five guns and 100 rounds of ammunition. The guns included an AR-15 assault rifle, Keltec shotgun, and three handguns (the images depict similar models as Zimmerman’s):
One of the conditions of Zimmerman’s bail was not having access to firearms. In addition, Zimmerman’s aggravated assault charge, a felony, meant Florida was required by law to suspend his concealed carry license. If officials suspended his license, Zimmerman can petition for it back now that he does not carry a felony charge.
In dropping the charges, State Attorney Phil Archer cited an affidavit by Scheibe withdrawing her allegations that Zimmerman “cocked and pointed a shotgun” at her. Archer also cited the lack of evidence and witnesses, to explain “there is no reasonable likelihood of successful prosecution.” A victims’ rights advocate suggested Scheibe may have been “manipulated” or “coerced” into recanting. Months prior, Zimmerman became a national news story for the second time when his wife Shellie Zimmerman called 911, claiming he had a gun. She, too, dropped the charges.
By avoiding prosecution in multiple domestic violence cases and conviction for Trayvon Martin’s death, Zimmerman’s story is not unlike other accused abusers who avoid trial. Domestic violence victims often drop charges because of intimidation, and many states will throw out cases or incarcerate the victim if he or she refuses to testify. This case in Florida is one example.