Former Atlanta CFO Jim Beard. Image source City of Atlanta.

Former Atlanta CFO Jim Beard (Courtesy City of Atlanta)

To many people the administration of former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed epitomized corruption. Second Amendment rights advocates noted the Reed administration’s dislike of firearms, and saw his membership in Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns as a sign of things to come. Which they did. Go figure.

There’s a reason David Codrea calls the group Illegal Mayors Against Guns. Well, against guns for us little folk.

As for alleged illegality in Reed’s administration, the city’s Chief Financial Officer, Jim Beard, has just been indicted on multiple federal charges. It’s a long litany of alleged financial shenanigans including misuse of public funds, not declaring travel expense reimbursements, double dipping on travel expense reimbursement, fraud….

But this part definitely got my attention.

Beard ordered two custom-built machine guns that he caused to be delivered to Atlanta City Hall, after which Beard illegally took possession of the machine guns for his personal use – even though it was illegal for the machine guns to be possessed by anyone other than law enforcement and military personnel. Beard then had the City of Atlanta issue a $2,641.90 check to pay for the machine guns. In connection with the purchase, Beard completed and submitted a U.S. Department of the Treasury tax exemption form, in which he falsely certified that the machine guns were for the exclusive use of the Atlanta Police Department.

That’s a mere $1,320.95 per machine gun. If only we all had access to deals like that — with no tax stamp required — for NFA regulated items.

Former Mayor Reed used to loudly blame Georgia’s inadequate gun control laws for the crime guns found on Atlanta’s streets. He didn’t like the fact that a state law required the city to return stolen and recovered firearm to their owners, or to sell them.

Maybe Reed should have been looking a little closer to home — at his own staff — to see who’d  been putting machine guns on the streets of Atlanta.

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