Georgia gun store owner closes shutters after mass shooting of children

A gun shop owner near Atlanta said he was closing his shop after his conscience was weighed down by recent mass shootings of young victims.

Jon Waldman, 43, opened Georgia Ballistics in Duluth in March 2021 and post-pandemic business has been steady since then, he said.

But two recent attacks, one at a Nashville Christian school and one at an Atlanta hospital, were the last straw that broke the camel’s back for Waldman. Waldman said his shop is already closed and he plans to clear all guns by June 15.

“There’s no guilt, I’m selling to law-abiding citizens,” Waldman said Thursday.

He said he fears any gun he sells could fall into the wrong hands, even to someone who would never commit a crime.

“I’m not against the Second Amendment. But for reasons of conscience alone I can’t sell it because I don’t know who it’s going to hit and hurt,” he said.

“It’s what’s eating me up. If it can happen, it’s only a matter of time before it does.”

Jon Waldman opened Georgia Ballistics in March 2021. WXIA

Two recent shootings led Waldman to his decision, he said.

A former student at Nashville’s Covenant School killed three children and three adults on campus March 27, officials said. The gunman was fatally shot by responding police.

“That really touched me,” Waldman said.

“And then the Midtown (Atlanta) shooting; This just has to stop. The guy killed a CDC woman who just wanted to help others. Well, I just can’t, that was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.”

On May 3, a 24-year-old man opened fire at an Atlanta hospital, killing a woman and injuring four others before being captured, police said.


If Waldman hadn’t already decided to close his shop, a different reason arose six weeks ago when a customer wanted to buy 4,000 cartridges.

Even 1,000 would have been appropriate, but four times that amount, Waldman said, made him question his field.

“If you ordered 200 to 1,000 cartridges, that would be fine. If you shoot regularly, you use a thousand cartridges in a month,” he said.

“But if you order 4,000 shots, the stuff that goes through engine blocks, refrigerators and vests that cops wear, I just can’t sell that.”

Waldman stressed that he was not pushing for more restrictions on gun ownership, just pleading for more gun safety.

“I’m more of a proponent of training and learning,” he said. “I’m more concerned with training and safety than ‘everyone should just have one.’ You should be able to have one for sure.

When asked about Waldman’s concerns about young victims, Brady: United Against Gun Violence President Kris Brown said that too many children are injured by guns every day in the United States.

“Every day we hear about a child, sometimes as young as three or four, who gets their hands on their parents’ gun and accidentally shoots a loved one or themselves,” Brown said in a statement to NBC News.

“That’s because, for the most part, gun owners are not legally required to keep their firearms safe. Eight children a day are accidentally killed or injured by these ‘family fires’.” ”