Atlanta Bureaucrat Indicted for Illegal Machine Gun Possession

The former chief financial officer for the City of Atlanta is in hot water this week for allegedly possessing illegal machine guns. 

Jimmie “Jim” A. Beard, who served under Mayor Kasim Reed for approximately six and a half years, is facing a slew of charges that include wire fraud, theft from the government, making a false statement, obstructing federal tax laws, and possession of machine guns, according to federal prosecutors. 

“Jim Beard allegedly abused his position as one of the most powerful executives in the City of Atlanta to commit federal crimes for his own gain, including stealing tens of thousands of dollars of the public’s money, possessing machine guns that members of the public cannot have, and obstructing an IRS audit,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak in a statement released Wednesday.

“Those in government leadership positions have an obligation to set the organization’s culture for ethical conduct.  As alleged by the Grand Jury, Beard fundamentally betrayed that obligation,” he continued.  

Beard allegedly ordered two custom-built machine guns to be delivered to Atlanta City Hall and paid with them using taxpayer funds to the tune of $2,641.90.  On a U.S. Department of the Treasury tax exemption form, the CFO claimed they were for the exclusive use of the Atlanta Police Department.  

However, investigators claim that Beard kept them for personal use.  

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Unless one is a federal firearms licensee (FFL) and a special occupational taxpayer (SOT) it is a federal crime for a civilian to possess a machine-gun made after 1986.  (For a civilian to lawfully possess a machine gun made prior to 1986, it must be registered under the National Firearms Act.)  

Beard, who has been under the microscope for well over a year, has denied any wrongdoing during his stint as the city’s chief financial officer.  

“After over a year of overturning every rock and sorting through every haystack, the government has been unable to uncover one single piece of evidence against Mr. Beard,” Scott Grubman, an attorney for Beard, told local news affiliate 11Alive in June of 2019.  

In addition to the machine gun allegation, Beard is accused of defrauding the City of Atlanta in the following ways:

•         Beard’s City of Atlanta credit card was used to pay more than $3,800 for hotel rooms at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Chicago for use by Beard’s step-daughter while attending the Lollapalooza Music Festival in 2015 and 2016, though Beard was not even in Chicago.

•         Beard’s City of Atlanta credit card was used to pay more than $1,350 for a hotel room at the St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta, including $200 per night for an upgraded room, $70 for private dining, and $80 for rose-petal turndown service, even though: Beard lived in Atlanta; Beard’s wife flew from Florida to stay at the hotel with him; and Beard’s work calendar listed the notation “Do Not Schedule – PTO,” (a common initialism for “Paid Time Off”) during one of the days that Beard and his wife stayed at the hotel. 

•         Beard kept thousands of dollars paid by third parties to reimburse Beard for travel related expenses to attend conferences and meetings, even though the City of Atlanta paid for Beard’s travel, and Beard never filed Travel Disclosure Reports to notify the City of Atlanta that the reimbursements had been paid.

All in all in appears Beard has some explaining to do. Presumably, he’ll have his day in court soon. Stay tuned for updates.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • David September 21, 2020, 10:30 am

    For those that have no idea/clue, because they believe the B/S they learned in their government indoctrination camps (public schools). The government turned into a privately owned corporation in 1871. That’s absolute fact. I can’t seem to find anywhere in the original constitution where it says that any corporation has any authority over me in any way, size, shape or form. There are 2 constitutions. Pre 1871 and post 1871. One is the constitution our founding fathers wrote and the other is the one the corporation wrote. The “federal government” is a corporation, every state in the union is a corporation, every county in every state is a corporation and most all cities are corporations. Anyone ever wonder how a “corporation” can have new manufactured machine guns but “civilians” can’t? Me? I adhere to constitutional law only. I do NOT accept any Admiralty/English Maritime law/corporate law as a authority. Wake up, America! Spend less time watching whiny athletes play a obviously very distracting game (yeah, that’s the idea) and start looking into what I’ve said here. You’ll be amazed at what you find out.

  • Mike bobier September 18, 2020, 10:35 am

    you know our founding fathers must be turning over in their graves with all this corruption and inability of our so called officials inability to lead anymore. They are all crooked. Every damn one of them. Every time I read about stuff like this it makes me want to puke. Its time to start over folks. Clean house. I doubt this can be done peacefully anymore. We allowed it to gain too much of a foothold. Its either that or capitulate and lay down and become a sheeple

    • Eric Holder September 20, 2020, 5:05 pm

      You must be a mind reader because you read my mind.

  • bill jackman September 18, 2020, 9:45 am

    This is the way all big city Democrat political machines operate. Any difference between Atlanta and NYC, Philly, Chicago or any other is negligible. Prosecutors saw Beard’s greed as over the top even for Democrats.

  • Ti September 18, 2020, 7:52 am

    This could be Mogadishu, Somalia. Whose Life Matters?

  • Danno September 18, 2020, 7:30 am

    I’m just wondering what kind of “custom-built machine guns” he managed to acquire at two for $2,641.90!

    • DHernandez September 18, 2020, 10:00 am

      Select-fire weapons aren’t expensive to buy for agencies. NFA guns are crazy expensive because there aren’t many transferable in circulation.

      • Danno September 18, 2020, 1:25 pm

        Still, I would think that any sort of quality custom built item would be a couple grand a piece. But then, maybe they were just custom painted off the shelf M4s or something.

  • Billy Bronaugh September 18, 2020, 7:02 am

    And not a damned thing will happen to him, he has all the right (left) identifiers.

    • DHernandez September 18, 2020, 10:05 am

      If he used his government employment position to purchase class III items and retained them for personal use, he will do time. Federally, they don’t mess around on NFA violations. IDK about his hotel bills, but I’ve seen gov employees take a hit for even buying suppressors claiming official use but keeping them for personal use.

  • Abner Yokum September 18, 2020, 6:12 am

    What are we supposed to say? Anything new here?

    • Slim September 18, 2020, 7:16 am


  • perlcat September 18, 2020, 3:54 am

    Our wonderful two-tiered system of justice at work. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws and politicians will have guns.

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